Anticipating the 9th year of Recycled Runway, a Boulder-based design competition that features local, young designers who create haute couture out of found and recycled materials.

 Last April, a young woman strutted down a runway in the Boulder Theater dressed in a dark fringed skirt and jacket combo. As she gracefully raised her arms to let the long fringe dance and dangle, an already animated crowd went wild and she flashed a couple of peace signs into the crowd at the sold-out theater. Shortly thereafter, another young woman glided down the same runway in an ethereal white gown, the skirt covered in delicate rosettes. When she tossed her “bouquet” into the audience, screams of delight escaped everyone’s mouths.  No, this wasn’t just another teenage fashion show highlighting the latest in prom and club attire, this was Recycled Runway™, a design competition for Middle and High School students who create high fashion garments entirely out of found and recycled materials. The fringed outfit? Made of old bicycle tire tubes and discarded chocolate wrappers. The white gown? Tossed out tissue paper from Vans’ shoe boxes.

The Creative Lab at Common Threads in Boulder has been organizing and running Recycled Runway for years and is now gearing up for Recycled Runway™ 9, which will be held at The Boulder Theater on April 10, 2018.

Recycled Runway™ functions as a guided independent study workshop and any young designers who apply for and are accepted into the program not only learn how to work with difficult materials (how does one sew old tire tubes together anyhow?), but also learn lessons of sustainability and perseverance that they carry with them into the world. The culminating competition and fashion show is feast for the eyes and the mind. The usage of things like candy wrappers, tea bags, and old construction material to create haute couture is stunning. The young designers turn out garments that rival those seen on the catwalks in Paris and New York, only a bit more trashy, in the best sense possible.

With each year’s competition, the excitement builds and Recycled Runway™ 9 is anticipated to be the best year yet. Always adding to the energy and sense of community that this event percolates is the fact that a local nonprofit receives all of the net profits from the show. Blue Sky Bridge is the nonprofit recipient for the 2018 show. This enduring charitable spirit is definitely part of what has propelled the competition’s popularity. It is a movement toward a greater good for all.

Follow Recycled Runway™ @recycledrunwayboulder on both Facebook and Instagram.

About Common Threads and The Creative Lab

Founded in 2007 by Libby Alexander, Common Threads is a unique fashion marketplace where people come together to create, collect and consign.  The Creative Lab in Boulder offers a range of classes from sewing basics to summer camps for children to the wildly popular Recycled Runway.  Libby teamed up with her sister Jennifer in 2011 to bring the concept to Old S. Pearl St. in Denver. Together the two stores provide an eclectic mix of designer favorites such as Prada and Isabel Marant as well as fashion forward basics from stores like Anthropologie and J Crew to offer the modern shopper affordable and sustainable fashion. Learn more at: