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Fashion recycler joins ArtWorks

Martha Jackson (Provided photo — Lisa Bruno, 64 Degrees Photography)

SARANAC LAKE — Saranac Lake ArtWorks is hosting its first-ever Online Holiday ArtMarket, offering work from more than 20 Adirondack artists for sale.

The market is live at www.saranaclakeartworks.org until Tuesday, Dec. 15, with the promise that purchases will be shipped promptly and arrive by Dec. 25.

One of the newest members of this umbrella organization for artists and cultural organizations is textile artist Martha Jackson. She is part of the fashion movement known as “circular fashion,” which aims to reduce waste in recycling clothes and producing new garments.

After realizing that her closet had become a collection of pieces she no longer wore, Jackson vowed to repurpose her favorites. She established Restored by Design in 2010.

She and her husband moved to Saranac Lake from Rhode Island to be closer to relatives in Canada, settling here just before the pandemic hit. She met textile artist Cris Winters of Art at the Pink House in Saranac Lake and has connected with local artists through her recent membership with ArtWorks.

Martha Jackson (Provided photo — Lisa Bruno, 64 Degrees Photography)

She has redirected her career in textile fashion to repurposing.

“I had intentions to find boutiques and get to New York City more,” she said. “But what’s happened makes you look at your work differently and what your goals are.

“I went through a whole ‘shock’ of the situation. … I was depressed and had that feeling like the world is closed. … I had wanted to connect with people through classes in my studio but realized that I couldn’t do that here and now. … My lingerie dresses are like little pieces of art to be worn for special occasions. … With COVID, fashion has shifted to home wear — people are not dressing up, not going out. … I shifted to do more comfort pieces. Instead of making a dress of repurposed materials, I’ve shifted more to making comfort dresses — from cotton and hemp, simple designs with an added touch like embroidery. I like to add special touches to all garments that I make. … But it is important to me to be sustainable. Everything is handmade in my studio. … I have a huge library of vintage fabrics — I don’t feel that I have an outlet for those right now. My lingerie dresses might work later on at farmer’s markets.”

She explained sustainable fashion as “why you buy your fashion. Sustainability alterations add value to what you purchase … fashion purchased as investment rather than just a whim — reinventing what you have in your own closet.”

Model Marissa Lovely wears upcycled lingerie made by Martha Jackson. (Provided photo — Lisa Bruno, 64 Degrees Photography)

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