Striking a pose in recycled regalia

Martha Jackson shows off one of the dresses she made from a patchwork of “pre-loved” fabrics harvested from upcycled clothing, which was on sale at the Upcycled Clothing Fashion Show at Bluseed Studios Thursday. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)

SARANAC LAKE — Martha Jackson hoped that people who attended the Upcycled Clothing Fashion Show at Bluseed Studios Thursday night would leave impressed with the artistry of the seamstress’ one-of-a-kind fashion, inspired to create sustainable clothing of their own, and maybe leave with a dress or two from her collection.

Jackson, of Saranac, owner of fashion company Restored by Design, was one of the coordinators and designers featured at the show. All of her skirts, blouses and boho dresses are made from “pre-loved materials,” vintage patterns and lots of lace. All were adored with flowers, as the theme for the show was “Summer Botanicals & Florals.”

Jackson was wearing flower earrings she cut from a pair of denim pants. She said she’s made all of her own clothes ever since she was 11 years old and she cares about the “sustainability on this planet.”

“I hate when they throw things away when its perfectly beautiful,” Jackson said. “I don’t like wasted things, so I like to use them up.”

The Council for Textile Recycling estimates that the average American throws away around 70 pounds of clothes per year. This all ends up in landfills or gets burnt. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that textiles make up around 6% of all space in landfills.

Jackson gathers her material from thrift stores or donations from friends’ basements and attics. When the home decoration industry finishes its season, it has lots of extra fabric left over, so she’ll repurpose curtains into sundresses.

Jackson said lingerie dresses — flowing, loose-fitting gowns — are her signature item.

All the artists’ work was available for purchase that night. In the evening, models showed off the fashion on a runway in the upstairs room of the art gallery.

The event was a celebration of art, sustainable fashion and the upcycling lifestyle.

“Tonight is really to inspire people to find new ways to extend their wardrobes,” Jackson said. “There’s a lot of style in what you have. It’s just a matter of using some creativity to upclycle or reinvent or mend.”


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