Wornout 2019 – Refashion

WornOUT 2019 Exhibit. The Future of Waste is a fashion show that covers three categories – Refashion, Wearable Art and Cosplay. It’s hosted by Reverse Garbage Queensland, and proudly sponsored by Brisbane City Council and Queensland Department of Environment and Science.

This year marked the 3rd year in a row that Reverse Garbage Queensland put together the WornOUT 2019 event (and the first of a 3 year sponsorship agreement with Brisbane City Council). It’s an event that showcases ‘slow fashion’ and innovative ways to look reducing waste in the fashion industry.

Reverse Garbage Queensland is a non-for-profit worker run co-operative that promotes environmental sustainability and resource reuse. They collect high quality industrial discards for resale at super low costs back to the general public, diverting approximately 2,000kg a week of non-recyclable discarded waste products from ending up in landfill – a huge win for the environment right there!

As an avid supporter of thrift shopping, frugal and zero waste living, I was really excited to be able to attend this year’s event (I have tried the past two years, but something always came up that prevented me from going – not this time!)

Original intention putting this post together was that I’d cover all three categories in the one post as an overview of the whole night, then I realised just how incredibly LONG the post would be, so I’ve decided to break it down to the three categories showcased on the night.

Brian (part of my review team) was my “plus one” for the night and took the majority of photos for this post (credit/links will be given to those sourced from other areas).


According to Collins English Dictionary, to refashion is to give a new form to something. In a world where consumers are starting to become more conscious about their buying habits, it’s great to see such a strong movement pushing the slow fashion industry and a more ethical way of living.

Fast fashion (mass produced clothing etc) has negative effects on the environment, as well as for those who create the garments (often exploited by mass producers), the quality of the garments are often under par, so do not last – and having a cheaper price tag attached to them often results in people buying more than they need, with a lot of it ending up in landfill.

It’s great to see designers in the fashion industry (new and upcoming, as well as established) embrace a slow fashion pace, and this category showcased a variety and assorted array of outfits that were sourced from op shop buys, secondhand shops, materials on hand etc and refashioned into something new and exciting!

Councillor Vicki Howard, Brisbane City Council was a guest speaker on the night, and part of the official welcome.

The Masters of Ceremonies for the Refashion Showcase were Rebecca Livingston of ABC Radio Brisbane, and Jane Milburn of Textile Beat.

Introducing the designers of the WornOUT 2019 Refashion Showcase:

Aukje Johanna Jansen-Olthuis

wornout 2019 refashion
Using 100% cotton blue denim men’s jeans only, this collection proves that there is a dress or skirt for anyone!

For this collection, Johanna used only men’s denim jeans, dismantling them into new and unique pieces, even the offcuts were utilised for applique and frills, leaving little to no waste in landfill.

Johanna often makes things from denim, choosing to shop for materials at op shops (and selecting the least fashionable and most ‘unpopular’ items possible, as long as they’re 100% cotton); limiting such items further from ending up in landfill (preferring not to cut up a perfectly usuable pair of jeans someone else could still enjoy).

You can view more of Johanna’s denim creations here: https://www.instagram.com/itsjohannatime/

Bronwyn Berkin

wornout 2019 refashion
The inspiration for this collection is “Once upon a stitch in time”

Bronwyn sources everything from op shops, second hand stores; always on the hunt for something unique and different. She loves collecting vintage tea towels, crochet tablecloths, vintage laces and unusual quirky fabrics!

For this collection, Bronwyn used vintage barkcloth (curtains), broderie anglaise tablecloth fabric, quirky vintage tea towels, upcycled t shirts as well as recycled buttons and zippers.

Bronwyn creates one of a kind sustainable, affordable fashion pieces you can buy – you can check out more of her designs here: Stuartgeorge Designs

Darin Rose

Darin Rose walking the runway with a model wearing one of his designs

WIth over 30 years of experience as a designer, pattern drafter, cutter and machinist, the collection that Darin presented on the night was stunning (I apologise for not being able to post an image of the full collection presented – it required videoing the collection rather than taking photos).

This year Darin has produced a small, one off, range of women’s high end fashion by deconstructing existing thrifted men’s suit coats, trousers and dress shirts and turning them into a glorious assortment of women’s clothing (if you were there, you know how stunning those designs were).

You can see more of Darin’s designs here: https://darosofficial.wixsite.com/couture

Evelyn Wood

wornout 2019 refashion
Vintage inspired refashions

Evelyn is both a dressmaker and sewing teacher. She invites viewers into her sewing studio via her YouTube channel, hoping to inspire others to explore their own creative endeavours.

Evelyn presented three outfits on the night: Day Wear (inspired by the WWII make do and mend movement), Evening Wear (inspired from the 1920’s tabard dresses) and Resort Wear (the 30’s was the height of sailor style and beach pajamas – the two coming together in this 30’s inspired resort outfit).

I was rather enraptured with the Day Wear outfit myself (reminding me of the conversations I have had with my nan over the years about her adventures – and errr lovelife – during that time).

You can find out more about Evelyn’s creations, how you can sew or work with her via her website: https://www.evelynwood.com.au/

Karen Lynch

wornout 2019 refashion
Karen doing a runway walk with one of the models wearing her designs

A lover of fibre – fabric, yarn and natural materials, Karen employs a variety of techniques in her designs, crotchet being right up there – of which both designs presented on the night were created using that technique.

For the outfit above, she used scraps and off-cuts of lycra, cut into strips and crotcheted to create this figure-hugging design. The 1920’s inspired dress she used strips of stretch fabric sourced entirely from op shop garments such as t shirts and dresses, cut into strips to become ‘yarn’.

You can view more of Karen’s designs here: https://www.facebook.com/karbragsdesign/


Thank you to everybody who joined us at the Princess Theatre, Brisbane for our WornOUT Exhibition 2019 last nightWe…

Posted by Reverse Garbage Queensland on Sunday, November 24, 2019
Photo by David Alexander of Vogue Images, sourced via Reverse Garbage Queensland Facebook page

Kimbralou is a sustainable fashion brand that salvages, then customises thrifted pieces to create exclusive designs underpinned by social and political awareness.

This was Kimbralou’s first year exhibiting in WornOUT 2019. She recently took to the runway at this year’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival in Brisbane, showcasing an eclectic and edgy collection, which not only championed slow fashion on the mainstream runways but also celebrated diversity, self-expression and inclusion.

These were some truly bold and stunning and absolutely glorious designs to behold! You can check out more of Kimbralou’s work here; https://kimbralou.com/

Lauren Ryan

Lauren’s designs (purple and purple & white outfits) during the designer’s turn on the runway

Lauren is a self-taught sewer with a background in fine art and metalsmithing. Her passion for re-inventing and upcyling thrifted finds has been growing ever since her first visit to Reverse Garbage in first year art college.

The first outfit showcased on the night was the white & purple number above, with a sporty and casual feel, it’s a style that can be seen across many social media platforms and for sale on many large online fashion sites, but was achieved for under $10. The dress constructed from thrifted extra-large men’s polo shirts; the bag from worn out men’s trousers with repurposed zips and webbing from another bag.

whilst her second outfit is one that can be easily dressed down or glammed up, a versatile addition to any closet, achieved for under $20! The main fabric was once a thrifted formal dress; the lining constructed from cotton bedsheets. Accessories were handmade using porcelain and sterling silver, inspired by organic shapes found in nature.

You can view more of Lauren’s creations here: https://www.facebook.com/laurenhayleymade/

Lisa Rama

Lisa with a model wearing one of her beachy designs

You can’t get any more Aussie than sun, sand and beaches… Currumbin lass, Lisa, upcycles quality secondhand beach towels and sews them together to create colourful, hooded surf ponchos (primarily to be used for getting changed at the beach, but can also be used as a bathrobe or to keep warm after a swim). Each one is completely unique and numbered individually.

The towels are sourced from op shops, car boot sales, garage sales and from friends. Off-cuts from one poncho can sometimes become pockets or hoods on the next poncho, to further reduce waste.

Lisa creates under own label Mussh Surf Towels.

Mariana Kirova

Thank you to everybody who joined us at the Princess Theatre, Brisbane for our WornOUT Exhibition 2019 last nightWe…

Posted by Reverse Garbage Queensland on Sunday, November 24, 2019

Photo by David Alexander of Vogue Images, sourced via Reverse Garbage Queensland Facebook page

Formally trained in fashion design and a professional upcyler from Perth (Western Australia), Mariana is also the founder of Eco Fashion Sewing, and holds workshops, creates online content and more, helping others learn how to upcycle for themselves.

Mariana showcased three outfits on the night were all constructed from garments or fabrics found in op shops, from worn out and faded denim, doilies, lace cutouts, silk from an ex-bridal sample dress and more, all resulting in the three outfits above (I kinda REALLY love that dress on the left – can definitely see myself in that!)

You can check out more of Mariana’s creations here: https://www.facebook.com/EcoFashionSewing/

Shweta Dwivedi

wornout 2019 refashion
Ready-to-wear and contemporary in style

Second to the oil industry, the clothing and textile industry is the largest polluter in the world. As a fashion designer, Shweta believes that fashion industry and fashion professionals should reduce their impact on the environment by adopting sustainable fashion practices.

This is something I personally believe in too, and that as a consumer, it’s also our responsibility to reduce our own impact on the environment by making smarter and more ethical choices.

Shweta salvaged fabric trims and assorted scraps, discarded clothes and accessories, vinyl banner and plastic carry bags, Textile Industry off-cuts, electrical waste, zippers, buttons and beads obtained from discarded clothes to create the two outfits shown above (they looked stunning up close too).

You can check out more of Shweta’s creations here: https://www.instagram.com/shweta.dw/ 

That brings us to the end of the list of designers for the WornOUT 2019 “Refashion’ Showcase – 10 wonderfully creative and talented designers all using their skills to bring new life to textiles that may well have ended up in landfill if it wasn’t for them salvaging them.

This is the first part in a three part series featuring the WornOUT 2019 fashion show, you can check out the remaining two parts here (if not uploaded, come back daily to check for them):

Part Two: WornOUT 2019 – Wearable Art
Part Three: WornOUT2019 – Upcycle Cosplay Challenge

If you’ve created your own ‘refashions’ we’d love to check them out – post a link to them in the comments section below, feel free to give a description of the materials you salvaged and where you sourced them from too!

Be sure to drop by the Reverse Garbage Queensland website, if you’re local, I highly recommend signing up for their newsletter too so you can be alerted whenever new ‘trash to treasure’ gets added to their stock.

Congratulations to Reverse Garbage Queensland and WornOUT 2019 for a sellout show, and for generously donating all monies raised on the night to Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland Inc who need all the support they can get right now!

Stay tuned for Part Two!

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