Filipino designer turns garbage into gowns

One person's trash can be another person's couture.

These are the creations of Filipino designer Ricia Juanpaolo. Once known as John Paul Halili, Ricia recycles trash -- from bottle caps to shampoo or coffee packets and turns them into colorful gowns.

Ricia has no formal training in sewing or design, but is able to create intricate patterns.

She said it takes weeks to collect and clean the trash, then turn it into a costume: "So, I collect them all once a month, and then I clean and wash them individually, I wipe them one by one, then I choose pieces that if brought together can create a nice pattern."

Ricia, who was once homeless, says she was inspired to turn trash into fashion after seeing a woman wear a garbage bag as a dress.

Now, she's hoping her work can inspire others to be more creative with recycling.

"There are a lot of people who cannot believe that you can do other things from the garbage I collect. I persevere because if I don't give up, I can let them see the possibilities," she added.

Ricia's works are for rent, from about US$7 to US$47 per piece.

She often displays them at a local school, and asks willing family members and friends to model her designs.