Science project

Trashion Show

Difficulty Level




Safety Issues


Material Availability

All necessary materials are readily available.

Project Time Frame

6-8 weeks.


This project aims to create cool new fashion designs out of garbage.  

The goals of this project are: 

  1. To experiment with unusual ideas in fashion design.
  2. To encourage the development of eco-friendly products. 

Materials and Equipment  

  1. Computer with internet access
  2. Color printer
  3. Digital camera
  4. Typical office/craft/hobby supplies (paper, pens & poster-board, glue, etc.)
  5. Clean, lightweight recyclable materials 

All materials can be found in your home, at local stores, or on ebay. 


TV reality shows like Project Runway (and performance artists like Lady Gaga) stretch fashion design to its breaking point. Project Runway competitors have created wearable clothes out of some rather imaginative materials, such as newspaper, burlap, hardware, and auto parts. Also, many top fashion designers have dabbled in eco-friendly textiles, and there are a number of International runway events devoted entirely to designs made from recycled materials. This project appeals to the fashion designer in you. 

Research Questions 
  1. What determines the quality of a garment?
  2. What recycled materials can satisfy the requirements of a wearable garment? 
Terms and Concepts to Start Background Research 
  • Eco-friendly
  • Fashion Design
  • Lady Gaga
  • Project Runway
  • Recycled materials           

Experimental Procedure 

  1. Research related materials (see bibliography shown below and terms listed above)
  2. Search and print out images of fashion models wearing recycled garments, and any other fashion photos that interest you.
  3. Collect recycled materials that you think might be usable for clothing design. These could include plastic bottles, aluminum cans, toys, lampshades, umbrellas, whatever! Push your imagination to the limit. Keep in mind that ideally, clothing should be comfortable, washable, well-fitting, lightweight, warm enough, durable, and appealing to the eye. Also, according to Project Runway’s Tim Gunn, wearable means you should be able to get in and out of a car while wearing it. But it’s really up to you, the designer.
  4. If you already know how to sew, make 3 or 4 simple, identical garments out of ordinary stretch cotton. If you don’t sew, use 3 or 4 identical white cotton T-shirts.
  5. Draw sketches of your design ideas. Use color in your sketches.
  6. Cut selected materials into appropriate shapes for your design.
  7. Sew (or securely attach in some other way) the shapes onto each garment.
  8. Have models try on the garments, and make necessary adjustments.
  9. Photograph each garment, as worn by the model.
  10. Explain your ideas in a detailed report.
  11. Include a live runway fashion show in your science fair display.
  12. Show interesting photos taken throughout the course of the project. 


Wiki topics: “Fashion Design” and “Recycling” (Ball gowns made of trash)

Internet searches of your own choosing: Search for any of the terms listed above (or make up your own phrases to search), and click on any results that interest you. Also, check youtube for relevant videos. Have fun surfing the net!

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Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state's handbook of Science Safety.

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