Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 31
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

Stockton Real Estate, LLC

Weichert, Realtors

Advertise in Town Topics

Iris Interiors

Advertise in Town Topics

Weather Forecast

From Garbage to Garb for All Ages: Trashion Workshop Held at Library

Dilshanie Perera

“We’re redefining what a library can be” said Amanda Braun, a 2008 Princeton High School (PHS) graduate and employee of the Princeton Public Library, adding, “There’s nothing else like it.” She was referring to the innovative programs geared toward young people that have included a wizard rock concert, a student film and video festival, and now the “Recycle, Retro-fit, Reuse” trashion workshop.

“Trashion” refers to clothing or other items that have been made from recycled or reused materials. Instead of being thrown away, fabric scraps, hardware odds and ends, plastics, or cardboard can be reinvented into usable or wearable objects. Virtually any material can be transformed into something new.

The children, teens, and adults present at last Thursday afternoon’s event worked on various projects. Some made jewelry out of washers, key rings, and wire. Others used easy-to-tear duct tape in bright colors to make messenger bags and purses. With the assistance of a sewing machine and some fabric from old curtains and clothing, tote bags and aprons were created.

Jessie Webb, who has taught Spanish at PHS and Special Education at John Witherspoon Middle School, said she had come to the workshop to gain inspiration from others. Ms. Webb’s quest is one of functionality. “What’s important to me is to make something useful,” she noted. Regarding the event, she said she “really hopes the library does this again” and perhaps also puts some well-designed, well-wrought trashion objects on display.

Teen librarian Susan Conlon said that the workshop was inspired by the popular reality television series Project Runway, during which contestants sometimes use non-traditional or recycled materials to create original couture. The ethos of trashion is that of realizing one’s aesthetic vision combined with environmental awareness. Objects are diverted from the waste stream to be recycled into something new. It compels the re-creators to ask questions about what they dispose of and what they consume.

Ms. Conlon noted that environmental awareness has been a key area of focus at the library. To save paper at the workshop, instructions for how to make particular items had not been printed out. Instead, attendees could look for instructions online at websites like, and project the plans onto a screen in the library’s community room.

“That is so cool! Did you really make that just now?” was a typical reaction as participants delighted in each other’s finished work.

Return to Top | Go to Next Story

Town Topics® may be purchased on Wednesday mornings at the following locations: Princeton — McCaffrey’s, Cox’s, Kiosk (Palmer Square), Krauszer’s (State Road), Olives, Speedy Mart (State Road), Wawa (University Place); Hopewell — Village Express; Rocky Hill — Wawa (Route 518); Pennington — Pennington Market.
Copyright© Town Topics®, Inc. 2011.