September 19th, 2018

From the Recycling Bin to the Runway

Published in RAW Features

By Natalie Saar

Take a look at your recycling bin, and you likely see a bunch of… stuff. But for RAW artist Ninja Stitch, aka Rebekah Trigg, that is far from the truth. This revolutionary designer takes everyday items that most of us cast off and she turns them into beautiful fashion designs. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starting out as a dancer, Trigg was quickly drawn to a part of the performance that can make or break a show: costume design. She began moving in that direction incorporating her own avant garde flair mixed with her love of vintage style. 

Trigg’s first major win in the highly competitive fashion world was something right out of a Project Runway challenge: making art out of recyclable materials. “I designed an asymmetrical dress fashioned from brown paper grocery bags. It was cut like fringe and curled, and painted aqua. I won 2nd place, and it changed everything, to use non conventional materials.”

From there, Trigg started stitching away, creating designs like no one has seen before. Though everything is unique, she still has some favorites accoutrements she likes to incorporate into her clothing. “I usually stick to the same embellishments: sequins and hand embroidery.” From there, she lets the clothes inspires her and drive the finished product. “The design tells me how to accentuate it, depending on the lines and the negative space within the pattern.”

Though these elements carry on throughout her collections, Trigg is like most designers and is inspired by different mediums at different times. Right now, she’s working with some materials that get a bad rap precisely because of how difficult they are to recycle. “My favorite medium right now is plastic cutlery and styrofoam. I've used it 20 different ways and I’m still finding new ways to incorporate it as a creative medium.

Trigg’s aspirations don’t stop at the runway though; she has big plans. “In the future hopefully I'll have my own boutique.” She’s thinking even broader than that too, noting, “It would be awesome to participate in community outreach programs to kids. I’d like to teach them the craft of sewing and upcycling.”

Interestingly, the increasingly popular DIY trend started booming as a result of the Recession, since people had to become more economical. That, combined with the increasing amount of people who are concerned with the environment are creating a perfect storm of success for Trigg, who wants nothing more than to create and help others bring out their creative side as well. By 2021, the DIY community is on track to be worth $13.9 billion. 

As for what inspires her, Trigg keeps it simple. “My creative process is rather organic. Depending on the client or design idea. I’ve been inspired by architecture, music, and classic art.” She’s taken this design energy and channeled it into her newest collection: Disposable Bride. It will feature bridal gowns using styrofoam and paper, and you can be sure to see some of her other signature elements sprinkled in there too. She also draws inspiration from whimsical and natural spaces like Japan, Iceland, Dr. Seuss, and ballet.

If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind designer who mindfully composes her styles, look no further than Ninja Stitch.