Designer Turns Garbage into Green Couture Garments

Designer Nancy Judd uses recycled trash to create various clothing items for her Recycle Runway collection, which she showcases in airports, class rooms and other media outlets around America.

“I love taking garbage—something that people want to push away from and not think about—and transform it into something elegant,” Nancy Judd recently told CNN. She started the environmental education entity known as Recycle Runway in 2007, and began creating beautiful fashion garments from recycled stuff, thus capturing the attention of millions of people. Each of her works is a unique piece of wearable art that takes between 100 to 450 hours to complete, but lasts at least 100 years and inspires the public to reduce their impact on the environment.

Ms. Judd grew up in Portland, Oregon, and although she’s been sewing and designing clothes and jewelry ever since she was a child, she doesn’t feel attracted to the fashion industry, as “it creates a tremendous amount of waste, and there are a lot of social justice issues.” In fact, she turned down a spot on Project Runway because she is perfectly happy with her own project, Recycle Runway. Nancy has worked in the recycling field for a long time, but it was fashion that helped her attract attention and deliver important environmental messages to the world.

Faux Fur Dress (old cassette tapes woven into a thrift-store coat)

Every season, Recycle Runway creates beautiful green couture garments from recycled materials like used soda cans, junk mail or old video and cassette tapes, which Nancy Judd hopes will inspire people to change the decisions we make around food, consumption, transportation, recycling and reuse.

Rusty Nail Cocktail Dress (rusty nails sewn and glued to a dress made from fabric remnants)

Glass Evening Gown (12,000 glass shards glued to a dress made from upholstery fabric remnants)

Junk Mail Fan Dress (junk mail folded into fans and sewn to a skirt made from scrap canvas)

Aluminum Drop Dress (aluminum cans cut into teardrops and circles and sewn to a shower curtain dress)

via Shine and South-West Flair

Photos by Recycle Runway

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