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EMA Trash2Treasure Challenge 2018

Annual Play it FWD Campaign

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R. Buckminster Fuller, one of the greatest environmental innovators to ever live and father of the term “spaceship earth” once said “pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we’ve been ignorant of their value.” Tens of thousands of tons of waste are produced annually at festivals across the globe. In 2015, one large-scale music festival generated approximately 679 tons of waste over the span of just four days. We here at the Electronic Music Alliance believe in the power to make a difference. In order to combat our waste problem, in 2018 we founded the Trash 2 Treasure Challenge, a biennial initiative whose goal is to transform waste into impactful art. We formed The Trash 2 Treasure Challenge as part of our Annual Play it FWD Campaign. Our board of directors established a call to action for the community (and the industry behind it) to demonstrate how we can solve world problems that are signature to our scene with loving intentions.

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Fusing together ingenuity, sustainability and eco-consciousness with music culture, the Trash 2 Treasure Challenge advocates conservationism in order to spread eco-awareness within the festival community at large. Our one dozen contestants used these materials to create upcycled party fashion, sustainable wallets, and environmental advocacy projects. While the projects were diverse in nature, all shared the same, unified goal. Our “artivists” as we like to refer to them took on our challenge full force. Through their ingenious and eco-conscious projects, they have inspired others to see their inherent artistic potential. According to our founder Janine Jordan, “there is an opportunity for art in everything.” Janine also had this to say in reference to the Trash 2 Treasure Challenge, “We are a culture inseparable from the creative capacity to solve all global problems. We just need the right ideas to go viral.”

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Voted upon by a panel of revered industry professionals, judges for this year’s panel included Michael Kaliski, CEO and founder of Good Planet Innovation, an organization focusing on the conscious shift in global consumer behavior through the integration of sustainable, healthy and ethical brands, products, and behavior into major film and television content. Another one of our respected judges was Ken Jordan formerly of The Crystal Method who now serves as an eco-village pioneer and permaculture farmer in Costa Rica. Ken also serves as the President of the nonprofit Una Limpia Playa Hermosa, a beach cleanup organization and is active of the board for Green Wave, EMA's parent nonprofit. Other judges included Shana Nys Dambrot - arts editor for LA Weekly, Lanni Lantto – a widely known eco-conscious clothing designer, Phu Styles – “former” celebrity stylist and super blockchain authority, and Taryn Hipwell – one of the most prominent voices in sustainable fashion.

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While all of our contestants presented impressive projects, our winners went above and beyond, fusing together creativity and eco-consciousness on a whole new level. Our winner Caroline Palmer out of Costa Rica used leftover hoop tape and pouches from trash to construct fashionable, festival-ready wallets. Runner up Nikkia Sipes created a chic festival ready outfit made out of old camping tents. While living in Hawaii our third place winner Star of The Mountain built an educational presentation to bring awareness and lifestyle choices as to how we can live in harmony with nature. Designer Jezabelle Von Jane (Silhouette House) and festival icon Tucker Gumber received our honorary awards. Focusing on eco-conscious designer fashion, Jezabelle’s exquisite artistry used 100% upcycled materials in order to produce couture GOGO/burlesque fashion. Widely known as the Festival Guy, Tucker promoted sustainability to the festival community at large in hope of activating mass change.

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Eco-consciousness is one of the main pillars of our organization. We look forward to the future growth of this challenge so that we can provide eager creatives with an outlet for artistic expression while promoting environmental advocacy at large. Stay tuned for the next Trash 2 Treasure Challenge in 2020 and the Electronic Music Alliance’s ambassador training program in June. More details can be found here:

Thank you to all the challenge acceptors!

  • (DJ) Kimberly St. John
  • (Production) Steven Capps-Visvardi
  • Dharam Deep of Anahata Love Recordings and Ganesha Cartel
  • (Fire Hoop Performer) Caroline Palmer
  • (Fire Dancer Teacher) Jeremy Levine
  • Angie Grace
  • Aaron Sternberg & Sarah Montano
  • Christa Toole
  • "Rovo" (Christopher Lee Bevington Bailey)
  • Jezabelle Von Jane
  • Wendy Skinner
  • Nikkia Sipes
Thank you to our judges, Robert Alexander of Life Rhythms for award designs, and Drew of Techwears for award creation. Awards were custom made from electronics waste.



Shana Nys Dambrot 

Shana is an art critic, curator, and author based in Downtown LA. She is the Arts Editor for the LA Weekly, and a contributor to Whitehot Magazine, KCET’s Artbound, Flaunt, Fabrik, Art and Cake, Artillery, and Palm Springs Life. She studied Art History at Vassar College, writes essays for books and exhibition catalogs, curates and juries a few exhibitions each year. An account of her activities can be found at

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Lanni Lantto

Lanni is a Fashion Redesigner creating clothing entirely out of pre-existing materials meant to be both glamorous and educational. She has shown in numerous eco-fashion shows in the US and internationally, is Co-Creator of Michigan’s largest upcycled (RE)design Fashion Show, and her work has been featured in Sustainable Style Night at NY Fashion Week, Etsy's ReArt Australia, Global Green’s Pre-Oscar Gala, Altered Couture Magazine, & Coco Eco Magazine. Lanni is dedicated to bringing the concept of creative reuse into the media spotlight in order to use fashion as a catalyst for real change.

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Phu Styles 

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For the past decade Phu Styles has been known as an international award winning celebrity fashion stylist, influencer, and serial entrepreneur. As a veteran in the fashion and entertainment industry, she has worked with countless high profile names such as actor Ryan Gosling, billionaire entrepreneur John Paul Dejorio, Grammy Nominated dance music DJ/Producers The Crystal Method, and super model Tyra Banks. She has been featured on the BBC, NBC, Fox News, Elle Magazine, and America's Next Top Model, as well as starring in award nominated shows in Asia. Phu is known for her eco-styling work, having put many celebrities in clothing made from recycled materials and advocating for fair trade and sustainability in the fashion garment industry. Currently, Phu is the CEO and head of investor and influencer relations for Blockchain PR, and an advisor for several companies such as Vetz and the nonprofit, Green Wave. She sits on the board of directors for Electronic Music Alliance. Phu recently founded the Women in Blockchain Foundation. She still manages to mentor for Makeovers that Matter, and Dress for Success and on occasion she is seen organizing a sound bath or as a DJ under the name of Madame Crypto.

Taryn Hipwell 

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Taryn is the author of How to Shop for Shi(f)t...why because we give a “f”, Founder of Beyond the Label, thought leader and consumer engagement specialist in the realm of sustainable fashion. Beyond the Label (BtL) started as a partnership with TEDxLA to educate Angelenos about the true health, social and environmental cost of their fashion purchases. She teaches “Sustainability and the Fashion Industry” at FIDM, she is on the Advisory Board for the Fashion Department at Santa Monica College, and she moderates panels for TEDxLA, PETA, Fashion Revolution Day and Beyond the Label. She was a keynote speaker in New York at NYU, FIT, LIM and the Berkley School, and she headlines EcoFashion workshops all around the world including "The Green School" in Bali, South Africa and Zambia in Africa. She is a Los Angeles Business Journal - Women Making a Difference nominee and was awarded the Fashion Against Bullying Award and Green Hero Award by eduPOWERED Media Group and Champions Against Bullying. Taryn was the Arts Chair and is currently the Fashion Chair for UN WOMEN-USNC LA (United Nations). Taryn created, produced and hosted EcoDivas TV and has interviewed celebrities including James Cameron, Jessica Alba and Olivia Wilde.

Michael Kaliski

Michael Kaliski, Founder and CEO, Good Planet Innovation

Michael launched Good Planet Innovation to inspire a mindful shift in global consumer behavior through the integration of sustainable, healthy and ethical brands, products, and behavior into major film and TV content. Good Planet is also transforming the entertainment, concert and festival production industries to sustainable and even regenerative practices. Good Planet has placed countless sustainable products and has ‘greened’ dozens of productions, festivals, and concert arenas since its inception. As a culmination of over 20 years in the media, philanthropic and sustainability sectors, Michael launched Good Planet Innovation as a compliment to Omniquest Media, a socially conscious trans-platform media company dedicated to producing humanitarian and environmental themed content. He was recently featured on an episode of Begleyesque.

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Ken Jordan

Ken has been previously best known for being 1/2 of The Crystal Method, (a two-time Grammy Nominated electronic music band). He retired in 2016 to pursue a life as an eco-village pioneer and permaculture farmer in Costa Rica. He is the current acting President of the nonprofit Una Limpia Playa Hermosa, a beach cleanup organization. He is also active with the board of Green Wave, EMA's parent nonprofit.

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Meet the Challenge Provocateur -EMA's executive Director, Janine Jordan.

Janine will not be judging. Instead she is ready to shake things up by inspiring individuals and organizations to join the Trash2Treasure Challenge. Janine loves all things eco. In 2006, she experienced what she calls an "eco-awakening" while on a trip in Costa Rica. Since her return 12 years ago, she has been a dedicated Earth (rainbow) Warrior. She loves Trashion, ecobricking, making trash art, and picking up MOOP from the environment. She organized multi-city "massive action" community service events (clean-ups, tree plantings, community gardens, and electronics waste recycling drives) on behalf of EMA for several years with the help of local EMA ambassadors. As a passionate inspiratrix she warns you to "watch out!"- as she may have an idea for you.... She is currently in process of personally challenging her personal contacts in the industry.

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EMA Honored Trash Artists

Thank you to Nor Tijan Firdaus, amazing Ewaste artists from Malyasia, and Brian Reynolds, the “Reverse Engineer”, for your artivist contributions. These artivists have been chosen to help inspire others to see the artistic potential that lies within and accept this challenge. You will see their work featured often in the EMA Instagram feed and other social media platforms. Look out for interviews with them both sometime later this year.

Art by Nor Tijan Firdaus
Imagine Peace by Brian Reynolds
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