Art Scene

Zara McDaid

Art Scene: Can you afFORD to miss Trash N Fashion?

Art students from St. Columba's College, Stranorlar, modelling their fashion garments made from recyclable materials. They took part in the Trash 'N' Fashion competition at the Northwest Garden Show.

Art students from St. Columba’s College, Stranorlar, modelling their fashion garments made from recyclable materials. They took part in the Trash ‘N’ Fashion competition at the Northwest Garden Show.

The sixth annual Northwest Garden Show in association with Hegarty’s Ford presents Trash N Fashion competition in Castlefinn on Saturday, May 23.

Now in its fourth year, the aim of Trash N Fashion is to increase awareness of recycling issues through a Secondary School creative art competition.


Karen Murphy (Speech Drama & Communications), the driving force behind this TY competition, said students are busy designing, constructing and creating dresses, accessories and up-cycling old garments into new wearable fashion.

Karen said they are excited to take part in this fun competition with the added bonus of winning some funds for their schools and some wonderful goodie bags for themselves.

What I am looking for in each creation is attention to detail, originality the use of interesting and unique materials and fabrics and creativity in abundance. I am really excited to see what the students create and am very much looking forward to the competition this year.
Here is a word from my fellow judges – Karen O’Kane, kokodesigns; Sheila Clancy O’Donnell, LYIT’s Fashion Design & Merchandising Lecturer, and Ramelton fashion designer Liam Grier.

Karen said: “This year I will be looking for colourful pieces which are also wearable and well crafted. As a long time admirer of crafts people who work in developing economies where resources are limited, but people are so skilled at using what they have, I would like our Trash N Fashion designers to look to other cultures for inspiration.”

Author of Princess Alexandra Rose of No Fixed Abode, Sheila Clancy O’Donnell added: “ Coming from the New York Fashion industry I tend to look for designs that have the wow factor.

“Styles that project uniqueness have character and can stand out in a crowd always catch my eye. As a fashion lecturer my thoughts will be on the quality of the workmanship and the inspiration behind the piece. I know how much effort goes into designing these garments, so I applaud all the entrants for being involved in this great initiative in advance.”

The Trash n Fashion team.

The Trash n Fashion team.


Liam, who designs and manufactures his own brand knitwear on his premises at The Mall, Ramelton, also often enjoys working on projects upcycling and reinventing garments and accessories and living them a new lease of life.

Speaking with Liam about this exciting event he said he is extremely excited to be a part of this innovative competition and is looking forward to judging.

Fashion students tend to agree that looking good does not have to cost an arm and a leg! This competition which we have up and running will help the public to think of consumption and waste in a different way.
It will give students an opportunity to educate their fellow classmates about recycling without preaching – so our aim is to produce a Trashion Show using recycled material to create funky fashion. This is quite a spectacle to behold and worth making the trip to Castlefinn to attend The Northwest Garden Show on Saturday, May 23.

Karen would like to thank the following sponsors included and some could not make the photo shoot – Hegartys Ford, Andrew Hegarty and Patrick McKinney; Four Lanterns, Kevin Grimes; Greenes Shoes, Alfie Greene; Julian from R McCullagh Jewellers; Carolynne Harrison, Mount Errigal Hotel; Rose Blaney, Silver Tassie Hotel; Siobhan Boyle, Sculpt Studio; Patrick Tinney, Teenage Grill; Gavin Boal, Pine Hill Industrial Estate; Mark Doherty, Century Cinemas; Les O’Donnell and Dessie Ferry (Ice Trekkers); Tara Art Supplies, Safetech Consulting & Training, Maria Sweeney; Swing Room, Donagh McCloskey; Donegal Stationery Company; Tetra Pak Ireland; Embankment plastics; Boxmore Plastics; Pinehill Studios, McElhinney’s Ballybofey and Shop LK.

Trash N Fashion 1

If you would like to sponsor this event please contact Karen Murphy, Trash N Fashion Co-Coordinator, via email

Zara McDaid can be contacted on Facebook, search ‘Zara Mc Daid Art’,, e-mail is, Twitter @zaramcdaidart and Instragram ZARA MC DAID

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