It takes a real eye for creativity when you can look at a discarded plastic bottle and upcycle it into a flower sculpture to be worn as a statement piece headgear. Or hand shredding some plastic bags and turning them into an intricate and exquisite dress.
The innovative person behind these amazing creations is designer Francis Sollano, who is on a mission to clean up the streets of Cebu, Philippines while at the same time creating upcycled pieces of wearable art in the form of ‘trashion’.
First used in 2004 in New Zealand, ‘trashion’ is a term used to describe trash that has been upcycled into new items like fashion, art, jewelry and objects for the home.
In the early years, ‘trashion’ was made into art-couture pieces that were seen on fashion show runways. Times are changing though and ‘trashion’ is becoming more wearable for the green-conscious person.
Sollano’s first venture into ‘trashion’ came at a young age when he used to make trinkets out of sweet wrappers. Though it wasn’t until a few years ago when Sollano became involved in a group promoting eco-friendly practices and sustainability called Youth for a Livable Cebu (YLC). He then started to seriously explore ‘trashion’ and how it could do some good in his home city of Cebu.
Sollano works with various large establishments in Cebu to create his innovative designer pieces. It’s a win-win situation for both sides, the establishments get rid of their waste and Sollano gets a new material to work with and ensures he is constantly pushed thinking outside of the designer box.
After being invited to this year’s New York Fashion Week, it’s clear that the young ‘trashion’ designer is not only making an impact at home in Cebu but also worldwide.
If the flower headgear made from plastic bottles is a bit too out there for your tastes, then there are subtler pieces of jewellery made from shredding and ironing plastic bags that would make the perfect finishing touch to any outfit.