What happens to all old things? Well, of course about some we know. Those for which private affection makes them hard to relinquish get boxed and stored in a closet, garage or attic. Those that bear no deep personal connection get relegated to a local dump, dropped off at a thrift store or charity, or maybe burned in the fireplace.
Yet people historically have made and still make practical items from salvaged materials (e.g. Ann Wizer wearable plastic, Southeast Asian accessories and homeware made by poverty intervention groups, African hand bags from rice and juice packets, and Haitian sculptural jewelry from old oil cans; while American settlers made quilts and rugs from cast-off clothing and feed sacks).
Some ‘trash’ elements, however, creatively are repurposed into works of art, such as “Trashion Fashion.” Per Wikipedia, the word “trashion” (a blend of ‘trash’ and ‘fashion’ coined 2004 in New Zealand) originally denoted art-couture costuming. When that concept grew recyclable meaning commensurate with increasing environmental concerns, Trashion Fashion became a subgenre of Found Object Art. The making of something aesthetic from nothing, particularly apparel all or in part of thrifted and reconditioned materials, has become subject of school projects, exhibits, fundraisers, and local shows.
In recent years in my local area, artisans have fashioned fantastic apparel from a wealth of recyclable materials, and participate in a yearly “Trashion Fashion Show” produced by and at Sonoma’s Community Center. Two projects of mine have been honored to share the Show’s walkway. Fashion for Peace is viewable at its’ own linked page. The second, linked here–Threads of Time—is an evening gown and stole fashioned from lace tablecloths crocheted by, and part of the legacy of two deceased family great-grandmothers. The intricate patterns and countless fine-thread stitches of their handwork remind us of their era and culture, when sewing and stitchery provided a rare artistic outlet for the full-time homemaker.