Bin Liners: The Not-So-Unconventional Material

Have you ever seen that show Project Runway? I have had the utmost pleasure of seeing pretty much every single episode to all of the seasons. Sometimes my internet didn’t want to load certain ones, and then I would have to just suck it up, but Project Runway is kind of my go-to. My favorite week is also [usually] the designers’ least favorite: the unconventional challenge.

I was imagining what it would be like if the crew had to use materials from a packaging and shipping supply store. They’ve done a candy store, a dollar store, a flower store (real ones, I might add), a Hallmark store… There’s just a ton. So why not someplace like UPS, or the post office? I used to sew doll clothes and little quilts and random stuff like that when I was little. I was considered ‘good’ and it was flattering and also came in handy. However, I had no real skill and it certainly never occurred to me to make my own clothes and learn different sorts of folds and tucks and whatnot.

Bin Liners

But if I did have skill, and did design and sew clothes, and was also on the show, and we found ourselves at a packaging and shipping supply store for the unconventional challenge, I would head straight for the bin liners. I’ve learned a lot about bin liners recently, and have come to see their merit. For those of you not so familiar with them, bin liners are enormous plastic bags with extra sewn into the side (called gussets) so that they can spread out and maximize the space they are lining.

They are usually pretty large, and can go on up to larger and even larger. I would use these bin liners to create some sort of amazing textile (they are always saying “textile” on Project Runway). During the little interview clips I would sit there with greasy hair in a stained white t-shirt and move my hands around so all my bracelets would tinkle while I talked: “I just used layers and layers and layers of these bin liners over this hoop skirt to make this amazing Cinderella-esque dress.”

After I had [clearly] won immunity for the following week, and Vera Wang said she wanted to use my dress for new online brand, I bet the crew for the show would then secretly take all my leftover bin liners. I can’t imagine the insane amounts of trash that the designers make during the chaos of every single challenge, and somebody’s gotta clean it up.