Upcycling takes on a new look…

Makers Mill and the Governor Wentworth Arts Council (GWAC), two local organizations with a shared mission of fostering creativity, are collaborating on the production of The Upcycled Fashion Show:  an event that is designed to celebrate ingenuity, environmental awareness, and community spirit.

Upcycling techniques have been with us for eons. Born either from necessity, or in a spark of individuality, or as a nod to sustainability, upcycling takes worn or used materials, clothes, or objects and transforms the old into something new, and typically, more valuable.

The Upcycled Fashion Show, which is geared towards youth in particular, as well as family groups and adults, encourages participants to create upcycled fashion designs crafted from recycled or repurposed materials, either in teams or individually. The primary reason for the emphasis on local youth is to build climate awareness in upcoming generations while also promoting creative confidence. The designs are required to incorporate at least 75% recycled, reused, or repurposed materials. Participating individuals and teams will be invited to speak about their designs during the fashion show and must find or be their own model for the event.

The date of the event correlates with Earth Day celebrations around the world, and will be held the day after, on Saturday, April 23, 2022 from 7-9pm at Makers Mill, 23 Bay St., Wolfeboro. If pandemic restrictions still apply, the event will be held in accordance with all federal, state, and town COVID-19 requirements.

Continuing the spirit of collaboration, the organizers will also invite other local organizations and businesses to become involved as a resource for project materials, marketing assistance, or other in-kind support.

Prior to The Upcycled Fashion Show, a series of artist-led workshops will be hosted by Makers Mill and GWAC between January and March, 2022. While these are designed to prepare participants for their presentation on the runway, three of them will also be open to the general public and subjects include: Learn to Sew (an introduction to hand and machine sewing processes); Fashion Design Innovations (3D printing, lights, other fashion design innovations), and “What is Upcycling?” (an exploration of green processes for making art objects). Materials for workshops will be provided. An additional two workshops will be for registered participants only and give them the opportunity to receive feedback and ask questions about their fashion design projects. 

To keep The Upcycled Fashion Show as inclusive as possible, there are no registration fees (although pre-registration to participate is required), no residential requirement, and no jurying process. All workshops are free to participating designers and design teams. The three themed workshops that are open to everyone will cost $10 for Makers Mill and GWAC members, and $15 for non-members. The Upcycled Fashion Show will be ticketed at $3 for Makers Mill and GWAC members, $5 for non-members before the event, and $7 at the door. Participating designers and design teams will each receive two free tickets to give to friends or family for the event. 

To meet legal requirements, anyone under 18 who wishes to participate must be on a team with an adult or have a permission slip signed by their parent or guardian allowing them to attend the workshops and The Upcycled Fashion Show. All participants or their guardians must sign a waiver that waives all liability for both organizations and their associated artists, teachers, and volunteers. They must also give permission to use images and video for promotional purposes. Registration will open in November. Registration is limited and will be accepted on a first come first serve basis, so it is recommended that participants register as early as possible.

If you would like to get involved or have any questions, please contact Liz Helfer at info@GovernorWentworthArtsCouncil.org.

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