DESIGNER/MODEL: KATIE WOOD
I am an avid thrift shopper—95% of my wardrobe is second hand. Hard to believe I was a Design/Retail graduate who was in “overseas sourcing and purchasing” for a major retail for most of my life. There are so many quality pieces of clothing waiting to be “re-homed” that there is little need to buy new.
For my look, the base bodysuit and skirt are thrift store purchases, made to hold the items I wanted to keep out of landfills. The rest is predominately paper—from the painted flower caplet on recycled tulle to paper placemats as wings, paper hula skirt materials with paper streamers and ribbons. Thrifted silk greenery and plastic butterflies is also a “nod” towards being kind to our environment!
My background includes a love of art and design. I am also an active member and artist with the Paradise Center for the Arts in Faribault, and I live in Owatonna.
I am a 13-year Traumatic Brain Injury Survivor. Since the accident, the unaffected side of
my brain has overcompensated and blessed me with artistic talent in watercolor, charcoal drawing, and sculpture.
DESIGNER: PAULA PERSON
MODEL: SUSAN KEMPENICK
What do you get when you combine Rolling Stone magazines, vintage sheet music, and a passion for recycling? You get my project—handbags and accessories made from the pages of history!
Rolling Stone is more than just a magazine—it’s a cultural phenomenon that has shaped generations of music lovers, political activists, and pop culture fans. This project all started in 2000, as my husband and I were cleaning stored boxes. He had been collecting Rolling Stone since Issue One in 1967. He said: “why don’t you make bags out of them?” I accepted the challenge and never looked back.
My project is an homage to the magazine and its loyal readers. With over 50 issues from their personal collections—a fusion of history, art, and fashion—it’s made entirely of original magazine covers, laminated together and trimmed with leather from a 1980 black leather coat. I’m proud to say that over 20 plus years I have kept thousands of magazine posters and books out of our landfill.
I own Pauz Apparel & Accessories in Faribault and “Notebagz” is one of my products.
DESIGNER/MODEL: CHAR MERON
Inspired by my experience in floral design and my passion for gardening, my art goes under the name “CharZam” Designs. I’m also mindful of how much “stuff” we accumulate—and how our castoffs to the donation center often end up in landfills or shipped to other countries to pollute their land.
As a walker, I often see many unwanted items at the curbs. When I saw an old lawn chair where the wooden frame had rotted away but the plastic mesh was still in excellent shape (as well as non-decomposable) I decided to give it a second life!
Starting with a dress purchased at Saver’s Thrift Store, I began embellishing it with that wonderful indestructible plastic chair material. Other accessories include everything from tabs from can tabs, old clothesline, and buttons taken off an old sweater, to net from an onion bag, plastic egg cartons, and plastic zip ties.
I hope this look inspired people to think more about all the plastic around them, to use less and reuse more.
DESIGNER: KATHY NESS
MODEL: DORIS WELKE
This jacket started out life as a linen tablecloth I received a while ago. After it patiently waited for me to figure out its new purpose, I decided to create a jacket and utilize the printed rosemaling in the best possible way.
I have been passionately upcycling fabric for many years now though my brand KNess Designs/UPcycleMN. I use only recycled materials — from unwanted items given to me by many generous people to jeans from the Clothes Closet. I enjoy creating one-of-a-kind pieces that are both stylish and sustainable.
Each item is handmade with love and attention to detail, and I strive to make the world a better place by reducing waste and giving new life to pre-loved items.
I retired from the Northfield Public Library where I was the Childrens’ Programming Librarian for many years. But with a BS in Art & Art History, I have incorporated art and creativity in just about everything I do!
DESIGNER: DELORES GUSTAFSON
MODEL: KAY LEE HENDERSON
I’ve sewn my own clothes since I was twelve and started using recycled fabric when I was in high school. It was even more logical to re-use fabric after I had three children, as it took very little fabric to make something useful and fun!
For this look I started with a pair of old long pillowcases with blue moon and stars. I joined them with the skirt of a dress from the Clothes Closet to become this new swirl skirt. I added a bit of trim from the skirt to the second-hand knit top (purchased over 20 years ago) giving it a new updated look. To join it all together the old hat seemed like a fun accessory!
My daughter has continued my “eccentric habit” of upcycling, and our best times together are being “on the hunt” in secondhand stores. Everyone can look for recycled clothes. Just a little creativity and a few little changes can make it uniquely yours!
DESIGNERS: MERRI KMOCH & CORRIE DEMAS
MODEL: MERRI KMOCH
As Northfield High School students, we enjoy sewing, upcycling, and turning old and thrifted clothing pieces into new unique designs, such as our new design “Burnt Out.” Our inspiration is fire—a tool that is not inherently a bad thing. Fire is actually an important part of many ecosystems, including the prairie native to much of southern Minnesota. Human fire suppression has not only negatively impacted these ecosystems but has also created a large fuel load meaning the next fires will be hotter, larger, and more dangerous. Finding a healthy balance in fire management is an important step in preserving our environment.
Fire can be a beautiful thing. However, humans have disrupted the natural fire cycle by creating infrequent, destructive, and sometimes deadly fires— a problem that will only be compounded by climate change.
We have seen all the inspiring climate activism that has been happening in our community and want to continue putting a focus on our environment and inspiring other Northfielders to do the same.
DESIGNER: NOHEMY RODRIGUEZ
MODEL: JADE TAMAYO
Since 2022, I have been upcycling can tab tops into earrings and necklaces! For this event I designed an entire dress out of recycled can tab tops (along with recycled fabric) as another way to inspire people to recycle and to not throw away can tab tops. As a craftswoman, I sell my products as part of the Mercado Local here in Northfield. Because I enjoy making crafts in my own time and I thought it would be a great idea to create something with the can tab tops. I would like the audience to know that you can look fancy even with recycled materials!
DESIGNER/MODEL: SUNNY LEONARD
My design features a “chic street look” that not only embodies the fast fashion market but adds an avant-garde twist!
The button-down shirt was combined from two shirts I owned, the belt is made from a reconstructed purse, and the skirt is made from plastic animal bedding bags spray painted black.
The fashion industry is one of the largest polluters in the world. I hope to educate people about the effects of clothing consumption and waste, from the impact of buying something and only wearing it once to the unethical ways clothing is produced.
I also hope to encourage greater self-awareness in shopping and more sustainable trends. Reusable fashion includes many alternatives like thrifting and upcycling.
As a rising high school senior, I wanted to get creative with my designs, learn from other designers, and educate on how they can create a more sustainable world. I hope that as young people grow up, we will have a chance to change the course of history and improve our relationship with the environment.
DESIGNER/MODEL: KIARA ARTLEY
This top made from a paper bag with plastic puffy pants made from plastic bags is a commentary about how much trash we produce just by buying other products.
I’m hoping to not only draw attention back to that, but also show how easy it is to multipurpose them into other everyday items—even fashionable ones!
This outfit embodies the stereotypical material girl in fashion— sporting a crop top, pants that flare around the hips and ankles (mimicking the fashion industry’s throw back to flared pants), and of course the whole outfit is made of bags which symbolizes the sheer amount of shopping she does. This outfit isn’t meant to cast fashion in a negative light, there’s a lot of enjoyment and pride taken in changing our clothes and styles. It is to remind consumers that there is always waste that comes as a byproduct of frequent shopping. Instead of ignoring it we should embrace the byproduct’s untapped potential to be repurposed!
DESIGNERS: TRASHN’ FASHION KIARA ARTLEY, LUCIA WILLKOMM, SVEA MORRELL, ISABEL SUTLEIF
MODEL: LUCIA WILLKOMM
The aesthetic for the first look is Nordic and futuristic—a reflection of our modern world in contrast to old world mythology. Using a wide array of repurposed items—including Hula Hoops, backpack straps, spinning wheel drive band, dead markers, an old bra, discarded t-shirt, broken toys, a scrapped laundry hamper, license plates, discarded holiday lights, and old plastic — We aim to shed light on the topic of overconsumption, single use plastic, materialism, and capitalism.
DESIGNERS: TRASHN’ FASHION KIARA ARTLEY, LUCIA WILLKOMM, SVEA MORRELL, ISABEL SUTLEIF
MODEL: IZZY SUTLIEF
The aesthetic for the second look is cozy, old, and Dark Academia—a studied gentlemen well-versed in the subject of science.
Like the first look, this uses everything from old science homework and piano music to old jeans and clothing scraps, an old telephone book, leftover stock board, and an old clock. This “old world trash” shows the progression of trash over time, multi purposes and recyclability of fabrics and paper, intelligence about waste, and use of repurposing while maintaining style.
Our group met in Honors Art and want the audience to know that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!
DESIGNER: TONI EASTERSON
MODEL: ELSA NYSTSROM
The black dress is made of a garment bag. The ruffle is a trash bag. The trim is a t-shirt rag my friend, an artist, wipes her paint brushes on. Everything is made from materials which serve another purpose. As a Northfield artist, I have been creating upcycled designs for a long time and have received grants for such work. I have no particular statement on behalf of the environment, but I want the audience to have fun!
DESIGNER/MODEL: TANIA LEGVOLD
Any “thrifter” will tell you that part of the thrill of shopping for treasures is the hunt! The origin of this piece was a 4X shirt pulled from one of ‘the Bins’ at a Goodwill Outlet center where things that don’t sell in their stores (or even Target stores) get sold off by the pound.
My look helps to make people more aware of the environment and our consumption. Often, we think “I’ll just donate that, someone will want it.” That may be the case with some items in good, clean, wearable condition. But there are many things that are destined for the landfill.
As a real Northfield “TOWNIE” I’m employed at Just Food CoOp as the Community Outreach Coordinator and am a theater artist and a photographer. I enjoy costuming for theater shows, including Rock N Roll Revival. I have an even greater respect for professional seamstresses as sewing requires a bit of a math brain!
Many articles of clothing can even be used or altered slightly to fit different eras of clothing style that will pass for ‘period clothing’ on stage.
DESIGNER: CASSIE MEZA MODEL: ASHLEY GARDNER
This dress is made of 220 coffee filters painted with leftover coffee from the Community Action Center. Inspired by the fellowship CAC guests enjoy over the coffee and donuts provided by the CAC and food rescue from local businesses, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to demonstrate how coffee filters can be repurposed to create something beautiful even after use, even creating an ombre effect.
I am an artist, but my art is so local that it typically doesn’t leave my house! I have worked at the Community Action Center for the past 2.5 years, and when I was invited to the planning committee of Runway Revival, I knew right away that I wanted to make something. It was one day I was making coffee for our participants and that inspiration struck to make a dress out of coffee filters!
I enjoy how unique, inclusive and educational this event planning has been. There is something special about this community and I am proud to be a part of it.
DESIGNER: STEPHANIE ROSARIO
MODEL: BERGEN RYCHNER
This first look was created by developed photographs and fabric. My inspiration is to always take photos and never let a memory go by without capturing it!
DESIGNER: STEPHANIE ROSARIO
MODEL: KILEY SPLETZER
This second dress made from paper maps and fabric was created to inspire people to seek adventure and always trust your heart to lead you in the right direction. The mission and vision of this event contains a very important message being shared with the community. It is important that we normalize upcycled designs. I believe we should try to find the beauty in things we normally wouldn’t think of. We can become inspired to find new ways to repurpose items, and to be creative with things right in front of us.
I have always loved shopping at secondhand stores. It is fun seeing what treasures you can find—and watching TikTok thrift hauls is my new favorite thing!
A born and bred Minnesotan, I am currently an Events Coordinator at Carleton College and helped plan this event!
DESIGNER: GROVE MUTH
MODEL: JORDAN FIELDS
This design is made out of dressing rooms curtains that came from the Northfield Arts Guild theater, as well as test tube caps, cut serological pipettes, ribbon, and wire.
I believe reusing is just as important as reducing and recycling, maybe more so. There are so many things that you can do with materials that are seemingly dead once they are no longer suited for their original purpose —even bed sheets.
DESIGNER/MODEL: GROVE MUTH
The vest is made from microcentrifuge tubes and the pants are a paper mâché of art and science magazines.
The inspiration comes from the growth from childhood curiosity into adult curiosity through the use of the magazines, and through the tubes used for research. My younger generation has absorbed a lot of information on saving the environment, and every element of learning now includes some form of environmentalism. We need to be conscious of the work we do to keep the environment clean and develop climate solutions that work for generations to come.
I am a Northfield native but currently a student at Oberlin college in Ohio and I have been a creative up-cycler for years!
DESIGNER: JEANNE HATLE
MODEL: JOAN ERNST
My dress is made from a hand knotted/woven lace tablecloth & a knit formal dress that were upcycled. The tablecloth had stains and the dress had a spot & snags, but I want the audience to think about using things in a creative way beyond their normal life span.
I am the manager of the Community Action Center’s Clothes Closet. I have been creating/making for as long as I can remember. I am a maker.
I love textiles. I occasionally reuse/upcycle items but while that isn’t the main focus of my art, I thought this would be a fun challenge.
DESIGNER: DINA FESLER
MODEL: PATRICIA OWUSU
As I was about to toss out a box of T-shirts—from party swag and sports leagues to endless promotional merch—I wondered what the environmental impact of all these shirts might be.
I discovered that over 2 billion of these T-shirts are produced annually. The average ecological cost of producing a single shirt requires 700 gallons of water.
The environmental footprint was so significant I decided to take the shirts back home and create something for my label “greensanity designs.”
Made of all 34 cotton T-shirts that were in the box, this jacket took approximately 23,800 gallons of water to produce. Thus, the name
DESIGNERS: KRISSA ANDERSON AND EVELYN KOLLING
MODEL: EVELYN KOLLING
The fashion industry is the 6th highest polluting industry in the world, emitting 2.1 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year, in addition to polluting waterways. This is the inspiration that motivated us to make something together.
As a “step-mother/daughter design duo” we made the bodice and the top layer of the skirt from newspaper, and the lower part of the skirt of cans. Straps are made from can tabs and wire. The base layer of the dress is made from an old dress that was too small and had stains on it.
There are things we can all do to help the environment, and the best thing is to buy less. We encourage everyone to be creative with the wardrobe they already have before buying new. Also, because mixed fiber clothing cannot be recycled, fibers like hemp use significantly less water than cotton to produce and is naturally pest resistant, or recycled polyester made from plastic bottles.
Krissa, a stay-at-home mom and former fashion and textile designer, started making upcycled designs in college. Evelyn is going into 4th grade and this is her first event.
Rachel Evangelisto became the first-ever Indigenous Miss Minnesota. She is an enrolled member of the Húŋkpapha Standing Rock Oyate and holds a B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis in Law, graduating with honors from the University of Minnesota, Morris. Rachel has been accepted into law school as a Native Justice Fellow at the Native American Law & Sovereignty Institute, pursuing her Juris Doctorate in Native American Law at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Her goal is to become a legal force and advocate for Indigenous youth and families under the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) while promoting Indigenous Representation in Minnesota’s legal field.
Originally from Barranquilla Colombia, Angelica attended the University Autonoma del Caribe and studied Hotel and Tourism Management. She earned the certificate of Foundations of Supervision and Management, received the 2023 Campus Compact President’s award for Community Partnership for the Northfield Public Library Bilingual Services and winner of the 2023 City of Northfield Employee Excellence Award. Angelica wears many hats, from a dedicated wife and mother to an active Board member of the Community Action Center.
CAC’s vitality depends on the community — from volunteers to donations to program-specific support — so that we can continue to meet our neighbors’ basic needs.