From Trash to Costumes: Turning Waste into Art

With the focus on addressing and managing waste at source, a fashion show exhibiting garments made from trash was organized in Paro recently. Turning hotel waste into costumes and art, the fashion show highlighted recycled waste in the form of fashion. Organized by the Zhiwa Ling Hotel, the event was aimed at advocating sustainable waste management practices.

As with any haute couture runway, the show glimmered under the light and models donned looks from designers who are hotel staff that created traditional and contemporary designs.

The outfits were designed using waste from the hotel.

A top was made from balloons used as decorations at the hotel, and the skirt from rice and flour sacks.

The decorations on the skirts and pants from bottle caps, and chips and noodle wrappers.

The models are the hotel staff.

The audience took out their smartphones to click a picture of the model, bejewelled in art, depicting the reality of waste management issues in the country.

Zhiwa Ling Heritage Hotel’s General Manager, Kuenzang Thinley said, “At the hotel, we have to buy a lot of stuff generating lots of waste and it is a huge problem. We are trying to minimize our waste and make good use of it. We are trying to reuse and recycle waste. There are 73 employees and we are trying to learn and advocate sustainable waste management practices amongst ourselves.”

“We work in the kitchen, so we have used garbage bags to create a design. We have also used silver foil that is used for wrapping foods. We washed it and reused it. We have learned that if we are creative and innovative, we can minimize waste,” said Tempa Nima Tshering, a staff.

“For the dress I designed, I used plastics from junk foods, garbage bags and discarded bed sheets among others. And designs and patterns on my dress are inspired by nature and my surroundings. I did not use YouTube for ideas or design,” said Choyeng Dema, a staff.

The winners were also given cash prizes to keep them inspired to create and design costumes from waste.

The hotel records show that it generates cardboard boxes and plastic waste in huge quantities followed by food and biodegradable waste.

The organizer and the designers said that in a country that is seeing a continuing surge in waste generation, creating awareness and educating people through different ways such as a fashion show could help reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills.

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