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Published Thursday 22 Feb 2024

February 2024 saw the inaugural Hutt Perioperative World of Wearable Waste Awards

Inspired by the actual WOW show, this competition asked entrants to create a wearable item from at least 50 percent waste.  The waste could be sourced from work and/or home. The event was open to staff in the Hutt Perioperative services and participants had a three month period to collect and create.

The intention of the event was for participants and the audience to have fun. The organisers also wanted us to view waste in a different light:

REDUCE – why use two when one will do

REUSE / UPCYCLE – this fashion show just proved the point!

RECYCLE what you can.

We were indeed WOW’d by the creativity of our staff! The show was held in the Auditorium, and items were modelled down the catwalk, accompanied by music. 

The items were judged by a panel of three staff members, with the Supreme Award going to Leanne Rehu for her Feathers & Hula Hoops creation.

Our participants received a certificate and a native tree which will be planted on their behalf, through Trees That Count.

The following items were entered:

‘Waste Dressed Up’ by Leanne Rehu – Supreme Award winner


“The dress was inspired by feathers and hula hoops. It was made by layering cardboard feathers around a hooped skirt, which was recycled from a second hand store. The train is made out of soft plastic and cardboard medication trays.”


‘Stunning Purple Dress with Lights’ by Maylyn Bayani


“Inspired by Rihanna’s song – Diamonds. The dress is made up of Kimguard and CDs. The bodice has roses painted on both sides to accentuate the model’s waist while the lights at the back are reminiscent of stars on a night sky. Her necklace was inspired by a Victorian draped necklace made up of O2 tubing, recycled chain links and medication caps.”

‘Hover Mat with Woven Plastic’ by Angela Dempsey


“My inspiration for the garment came from my work colleagues who have turned everyday items into beautiful pieces of art. I chose two different items with the intention of using every part. The skirt is made out of a hover mattress. I embraced every part, including showing its care instructions. The bodice demonstrates how plastic is woven into our daily lives. The straps of the hover mattress finish this piece beautifully.”

‘Grace Jones blazer’ by Leanne Rehu


“This outfit was inspired by model Grace Jones and her iconic blazers with Kimono inspired sleeves. Made of IV bags and bubble wrap packaging. The gold translucent colour inspires us to think about our waste.”

‘Korowai – the Māori cloak’ by Wendy Symes


“I was inspired by the Māori cloak, the Korowai. I aimed to give it a natural look using waste materials from home, work, and the garden. I wanted to respect the korowai. Materials used: Kimguard, Hudson masks elastic, hooks off infusion sets, expired ECG dots, single-use tourniquets, plastic packing, cabbage tree leaves, an old sack and paper packing.”

We had a lot of fun with this show! We’re hoping to bring this back again next year and make it bigger and better!