Austin Designer Megan Pinto Named Trash Makeover Challenge Winner

The annual Trash Makeover Challenge is one of those shows that should be witnessed in person at least once in your life.  This year’s show certainly did not disappoint.

Winner Megan Pinto accepts her cash prize

In all, fifteen looks created by teams of 36 creatives, designers and artists, walked the runway earlier this month at the Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs Mansion all who competed for the large cash prize.  The theme this year was Sheroes and Heroes.

Austin Designer Megan Pinto created the top winning look titled “Elektra,” which was a modern warrior princess design constructed of bubble wrap, yoga mat, chicken wire, a Mattel car toy play mat and an outdoor tarp.  The People’s Choice Award went to last year’s winner, Veronica Vivanco, who created a design influenced by Florence Nightingale.  Her garment was fashioned from Coca Cola bottles and caps, thread, a desk lamp, vinyl sign and painting.

The designers constructed garments made from 90% recycled materials and were inspired by the Sheroes and Heroes theme. Bob Mackie-inspired Barbie, Poison Ivy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a towering Abraham Lincoln, Native American Ancestor, Wasp, Spiderman, GrecianGoddess Medea and Wonder Woman.


“Elektra” designed by Megan Pinto

Reuse materials incorporated in the designs included Copenhagen lids, shells, industrial vacuum tubing, plastic cores from receipt paper rolls, cardboard boxes, Coke bottle caps, chicken wire, old CDs, H-E-B bags, duct tape, yogurt & pudding cup lids, telephone & computer cables, insulated foil, coffee bean bags, bird netting, bubble wrap, pallet banding and straws.

Judges for the competition include former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis; Samuel Alexander, founder and CEO, Concept 2 Consumption; Linda Asaf, Linda Asaf Design; Alberta Phillips, an Austin journalist who is also a Commissioner on the City of Austin’s Joint Sustainability Commission and serves on the governing board of the Ending Community Homelessness Board (ECHO).

Started as a celebration for TCE’s 20th anniversary, Trash Makeover Challenge was created to raise awareness and funds for Zero Waste and recycling issues. Each year, the theme of the fashion show changes and the collaboration between the fashion community and eco-conscious Texans has grown in popularity. In the eight years of operation, the Trash Makeover Challenge has raised more than $375,000 for TCE. More information can be found at

For more information, visit the website at

Congratulations to all the designers and team participants.  What a great show and can’t wait till next year’s show.

People’s Choice Designer Veronica Vivanco, Florence Nightingale inspired look

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