The Renewables Innovation Hub hosted Filipino social entrepreneur and international “trashion” fashion designer Francis Solano yesterday. Francis is visiting Canberra as part of the Design Canberra festival.

A captivated crowd listened to Francis’s story of witnessing the environmental impacts of the rapid economic growth of his home city of Cebu, Philippines. Francis decided to take ordinary refuse to repurpose it as extraordinary designer items; high-end, functional, and wearable.

Francis employs locals to manufacture these items for a global export market, displaying an equal flair for design as well as grassroots community activism.

This dress below is an example of Francis’s work. While hard to believe, its fabric is made entirely from drinking straws!


Francis was a fantastic first event to host at the Renewables Innovation Hub. You can read more about Francis and his trashion movement at his Facebook page.

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