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Cirque du Couture: Ragfinery rolls out annual Runway Challenge fundraiser

May 5th, 2017 | Category: Crafts

Local job-training and creative-reuse textile nonprofit Ragfinery ( is hosting its 3rd annual Upcycle Runway Challenge Fundraiser. This year’s theme, Cirque du Couture, invites contestants to draw inspiration from the popular performance ensemble Cirque du Soleil, creating runway-ready creations out of anything they can find at Ragfinery. Contestants will walk the runway and showcase their creations at the Leopold Crystal Ballroom at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 19.

Attendees at the event can expect a highly entertaining and inspiring show, as all levels and ages of textile artists walk the runway, demonstrating endless creative possibilities for transforming used textiles into new designs.

“It’s incredibly inspiring to see what creativity the participants put into their work and to witness people of all ages and backgrounds come together to celebrate at this wonderful community event,” said Ragfinery Manager Shan Sparling. “Each year it just keeps getting bigger and better!”

Ragfinery limited the number of contestants to 25 and met that capacity less than two weeks after opening registration. Judges will evaluate contestants in six separate categories and awards will be presented for each: Best Expression of Theme, Biggest Transformation, Most Creative Use of Materials, Best Presentation on the Runway, Judge’s Choice, and People’s Choice.

Tickets can be purchased and additional information about the event can be found online at

Ragfinery is a project of the Bellingham nonprofit, ReUse Works, and has a three-pronged mission to reduce textile waste, provide training job training opportunities to help residents gain long-term employment, and support our rich textile arts community. They collaborate with local artisans and community volunteers to repurpose unwanted garments and textiles into a variety of upcycled goods that showcase the skills and talent of their collective.


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