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'Trashion' fashion tour sweeps the U.S. with stop in Billings, features Montana designers in documentary

Posted at 8:22 AM, May 31, 2024

BILLINGS — There's a trashion fashion show on tour from coast to coast, and it's taking trash and turning it into wearable art. There's even a documentary in the making about the movement, and it made a stop in Billings at a trashion show organized by SustainaBillings at the Loft venue.

Director and climate artist designer, Clementina Martinez Masarweh, is on a mission, using film, fashion and art to bring awareness to the fast-fashion industry and its impacts on the climate.

“It’s not easy. Most people do not understand what we are doing. In general, what fast fashion is, is the overproduction of garments that are made at a very, very extremely low price. Slow fashion is what it means, slow. The clothing is made with more ethical practices, paying their employees, they are using sustainable fabrics or they are repurposing what already exists,” says Clementina Martinez-Masarweh, Climate Artist Designer.

From Cemintina’s home city in San Francisco to Chicago, Pennsylvania, Las Vegas, Boston, New York City, and now Billings, she’s filming designers and models as they strike a pose for a better planet.

Blowing kisses as they walk the runway to an audience she hopes buys into the slow fashion movement.

“Shop your closet, you can shop with friends, have swapping parties. Spot clean, spot clean your clothes, wash them in cold water, wash them less. The less washing, the fewer microplastics are released into the waterways. Cut back on how much you consume fashion, fabric, thrift, go to the thrift store,” says Martinez-Masarweh.

It’s a movement she says saves money and the planet, with designers she’s documenting across the country who are fully invested in the idea and the imagery it portrays.

"This is my gum wrapper dress, it's made from extra gum wrappers, like the brand Extra. This is over 300 gum wrappers. I went through and I quilted them down individually and then I lined it so my model would be comfortable, because it would be quite scratchy if I didn't do that. That’s the lining, it's made from an old bed sheet I had,” says Asyland Peters-Morrissey, College Student Fashion Designer.

As young children watching the trashion fashion show cheer on a model dressed in green, painted in green and wearing green contacts, the Mother Earth Goddess gives them high fives as she walks through the crowd.

“I just made everything. I bought the dress from Goodwill and I just thrifted all of it. I had a masquerade mask I covered in leaves and I made the headdress out of a headband,” says Samm Bauer, Fashion Designer and Model.

Applause from the crowd as Sunrise Montessori students walked the runway in butterflies made from books and trash-turned-treasure.

“It's not just big cities that are working on sustainable fashion and fighting fast fashion. It's also some of the smaller towns across the country that are involved and care and are trying to do our part,” says Katie Harrison, SustainaBillings Founder and trashion show event organizer.