The March 2nd Marion County Green Awards, the yearly fundraiser for the Straub Environmental Center hosted by Marion County Environmental Services, was enlivened this year by a fashion show of original and unexpected works of art.

The evening’s theme of environmental responsibility was carried into the design of the 13 dresses created by local artists.  Each was constructed of at least 75% recycled materials and, expressive of all the kinds of trash people throw out – none resembled any other in the slightest.

It was the 5th year for the Green Awards event, but the first year a Trashion show was included.  Judging from the enthusiasm of the crowd, it was a hit.

Trashion gown creation was coordinated and facilitated by DIY Studio, located in downtown’s Salem Arts Building.  DIY held classes to walk aspiring designers through the process, and also created “a pinterest board, guidelines, judging rubric, marketing and registration info,” according to Jessica Ramey on the DIY Studio site.

DIY reached out to local schools to encourage youth participation as well, and the result was garments flowing and rigid, short and long, made of disposable coffee cups, photographs, cardboard, filmstrips, coat hangers, aluminum Pepsi cans, plastic bags, ribbons and lace.

Designers mingled in the crowd before and after the show, giving attendees the opportunity to admire the dresses first-hand and quiz their creators on matters of construction.