Eco Trash Couture

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IMG_7812Trash-Me-Rob-Greenfield-The-Trash-Man-768x489Web---Pacifica-2Web---Bella-detailup close wingsclose up capeErte Front2Crime Scene FrontthumbES thumbYouth Eco-Dress, detail1Recycling Fiesta, thumbnailObamanos Coat FrontPL crop2Rusty Nail Cocktail Dress, thumbnailAluminum Drop Dress, thumbnailJellyfish Dress, thumbnailCaution DressTireless-Couture-Detail-smFaux Fur Coat, thumbnailPop Can Couture, thumbnailObama Cocktail Dress, thumbnailCouture Plastique, thumbnailJunk Mail Fan Dress, thumb nailCT cropGlass Evening Gown, detailRecycled Bathing Beauty, thumbnailChange Couture Collection at the Green Inaugural BallRecycled Cowgirl, bootsVoter Swing Coat, detail

Click here to read a case study of one of Nancy’s Artist Residencies

As a Teaching Artist, Nancy engages students in a practice called arts integration in which students engage in a creative process which connects an art form with subjects in other curriculum areas.

Nancy works with classrooms and youth groups constructing recycled art and fashion- “trashion”- as a positive and interactive lens to view issues related to resource use, climate change and the future of human habitation on the earth.

She can lead different types of projects that:
— work with various discarded materials
— are tailored to specific ages (k-12)
— have an art or a fashion focus
— have students make individual items; work in small or large groups; make discrete or collaborative projects.

Below is one sample lesson geared to 6-8 grade students, is fashion based, and uses T-shirts, in which students create individual projects.  This lesson plan can be easily altered for different age groups or to work with different materials.

T-shirt Transformation Workshop

T-shirt Transformation Workshop

Example Lesson Plan: THE PRICE OF FASHION
In this lesson students learn about the environmental and social impacts of the fashion industry and how to be a conscious consumer. Additionally, we explore how to use fashion as a means of creative individual expression through making upcycled wearable garments.


Essential Elements of Art Form:

Students will learn to identify the design features of everyday items. Using old T-shirts they will design and fabricate new items. Students will create design boards for their projects that include the following information:

Trashion Lesson

Trashion Lesson

  • a written description of what they are going to create
  • a sketch
  • what the item they are designing will be used for, and who will use it
  • a description of the material(s) they will use
  • a step by step process of how to construct it
  • and what the original item was made from and the environmental and social impacts of its production.


  • Science:  the science of climate change, the water system, how pollution impacts the air, water and soil
  • Social Studies: social justice issues related to consumerism, NIMBYism, Climate refugees, how different cultures use fashion, waste, and treat the environment
  • Language Arts:  reading, research, writing
  • Math:  creating designs that utilize math and geometry