Trashion Shows: Changing the Way the World Sees Waste

In the spirit of sustainability, our GO GREEN employee resource groups (ERGs) at the Macy’s Credit and Customer Service offices in Clearwater, Florida (MCCS South), and Tempe, Arizona (MCCS West), each hosted “Trashion Shows.”

In this way and others, our colleagues are changing the way the world sees waste. We spoke to members of the GO GREEN employee resource groups at MCCS South and MCCS West to understand what it takes to make this blend of fashion and sustainability come to life. Here’s what Juan Barerro, manager, Credit Granting, had to say:

In your own words, what is the Trashion Show? Why does it matter for Macy’s?

The Trashion Show exhibits clothing made entirely from recycled materials. It is a way to introduce colleagues to the little things that we each can do to make a difference in the environment.

The idea for a Trashion Show was born out of a desire to make reuse more accessible for our colleagues, at work and at home. Macy’s is in a position to influence other companies when it comes to sustainability, and we can achieve that when each of our colleagues realize that they can Get Better Every Day for our environment.

Tell us about the history of the show – how long it’s been going on, how did it originate?

Originating at MCCS West, Trashion Shows invited colleagues to craft outfits and display them on mannequins for voting. This year, we decided that on the third day of voting, we would put our designs to the test on the runway.

What started in 2013 as a new and innovative idea to bring awareness around recycling and recruit for the GO GREEN ERG has transformed into an event that everyone, not just GO GREEN, looks forward to – we had 75 attendees this year at MCCS West, and more than 100 at MCCS South!

Tell us about one of your favorite memories when planning the show.

My favorite thing about this event is that it’s a true group effort – not just a GO GREEN-led one. This year at West, a colleague created a replica of the Wonder Woman costume using 100 percent recycled materials.

At South, it was our last meeting before the show. We ran through the show and realized just how much the team had accomplished in only a month with everyone Owning Their Role.

Can you take us through your planning process? When do you begin? What are the major milestones along the way?

It’s just like planning for a real fashion show. Once we land on a theme, judges, and music, we decide to put a challenging spin on it. Most recently at MCCS, designers were advised that holiday cards – something thrown away every year – needed to be incorporated into the looks.

Check out how these looks came to life below:

Sustainability should be at the forefront of all that we do. With summer approaching quickly, it’s easy to get outside and help.

What You Can Do

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it’s estimated that about 80 percent of marine debris originates as land-based trash. That means you don’t need a commercial ship to help the cause. Be a part of the solution with these five simple ideas:

Plan Ahead

Pay attention to how you and those around you treat your local beach or vacation destination. Practice good beach behavior by reducing the amount of potential trash you bring to the beach, taking everything with you when you leave.

Clean Up

Like our Hawaii colleagues did on Earth Day, organize a beach cleanup event, or dedicate an hour of your vacation to clean up litter on your own. Every little bit helps. 

Reduce, Reuse, or Recycle

Even if you don’t live near the ocean, you can reduce the amount of land-based waste. When you shop, look for items with the least amount of packaging. If possible, reuse what you can and recycle the rest.

Wear Recycled Fashion

Be an informed colleague and consumer. Know and support sustainable brands and apparel, especially those that reuse plastics and other post-consumer materials.

Spread the Word

A little bit of knowledge goes a long way when it comes to protecting our oceans. Share what you’ve learned with others, and enjoy your next trip to the beach knowing that you’ve made an impact.