Dress Made of Trash Anyone?


In 2019, the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge launched Project Refuge: a fashion show using Trash as part of its celebration of the 75th anniversary and in support of the Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel. This year, on March 31, it brings back the runway competition and luncheon for DDWS’ 40th anniversary.

“It was such a huge success in raising not only refuge support, but also awareness about recycling and the threat of trash to our wildlife,” said Birgie Miller, DDWS executive director. “The fashion ensembles created from repurposed materials were out of this world!”

A limited number of tickets for the luncheon, to be held at The Community House at 2173 Periwinkle Way on Sanibel Island, have gone on sale at tinyurl.com/PRtickets. The tickets are $150 each and available only by advance purchase online. The event takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and includes emcee fashion commentary by artist Rachel Pierce and a contest judging, along with lunch.

“We have 20 design teams registered to participate in the show,” said DDWS development officer April Boehnen, event organizer. “Expect creations fashioned out of everything from plastic bags to disposable face masks on the ‘trashion’ runway.”

“All profits will directly benefit the refuge’s education and water-quality research programs,” said Miller. “It’s a fun and entertaining way to make a difference while enjoying lunch with friends and like-minded conservationists. A special thanks to Project Refuge Committee chair Toni Ortweiler for helping lead this event.”



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