Refashion- a raging success!

2 minutes read
Posted 18 April, 2024

Photo: Dini Photography

Sustainable Queenstown’s first ever Refashion event last month had audiences asking for bigger, better, more!

Putting their own spin on Wastebusters’ 2023 pilot event, SQ offered the community a fabulous celebration of all things Slow Fashion. Held at the Salvation Army’s new auditorium in Frankton, the event was sold out, with over 100 people attending.

Under flashing lights, with music pumping and the crowd cheering, six models (recruited from the community) paraded 13 different looks ranging from sturdy outdoor and active wear to glamorous evening gowns.

MC Fiona Stephenson entertained with the stories behind each outfit, which were either secondhand, upcycled, found or taken care of for many years. Judges Kath Buttar (QLDC), Nina Chen (TIKKI studio) and Annie Emery (Anecdote Studio) as well as youth judges Sophie Rasmussen, Sophie Mead, and Zara Martin awarded prizes to their favourite looks and applauded the efforts of each model.

Eventgoers walked away with treasures from an ‘after-hours’ op-shop market featuring Happiness House, Salvation Army and Strange Goods Market, who brought a selection of their wares. They were also rewarded for dressing secondhand with raffle entries for every item they happened to be wearing to the show, and seven lucky winners took home sweet prizes sponsored by local sustainable businesses - 217 items were recorded!

Audience feedback collected after the event reflected the success with one attendee saying the event was “so wholesome, I appreciated the stories behind the clothes as they added a lot of depth and value to the show itself”, while another said they appreciated the “diversity in age and ethnicity” of the models. We are beyond grateful to the event crew, including 25 volunteers who contributed their time, energy and skills to make Refashion into the fantastic celebration it was!

SQ’s Green Drinks offering for Slow Fashion Month was ‘Gear and Beer’, an outdoor gear swap. Tickets sold out with 40 attendees bringing in 200 items ranging from socks to tramping packs to snow gear and taking home some great quality gear in return. At the new Patagonia store, swappers enjoyed a screening of ‘The Monster in our Closet’, while sipping drinks sponsored by Altitude Brewing. Any un-swapped gear was donated to the Branches Trust program at Wakatipu High School, for Y10 students who might not have the gear to be able to attend the annual camp - no waste here!

What’s next? Repair Cafes are back for the autumn season - keep an eye out for dates for events in Arrowtown and Glenorchy in May. Get household items repaired and learn how from our volunteer fixers. Got skills you can share or just want to be involved in our events? Email us at

Resourceful Communities is created by Wastebusters, and delivered in the Whakatipu by Sustainable Queenstown and proudly supported by QLDC Zero Waste District Programme.


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