High-flying student bridal designer’s collection was made using EACH charity shop dresses

High-flying student bridal designer’s collection was made using EACH charity shop dresses

Sep 03, 2019

A student bridal designer from Boxford is up for a national award having taken outdated wedding dresses donated to our Halstead shop based in Colchester and London.

Jenna Martin, 34, a mum-of-two and stepmum-of-one who has previously worked or us at EACH, has juggled family life and studying at University Centre Colchester over the last three years, and recently graduated her fashion and textiles degree, with first class honours.

As part of Jenna’s final project she decided to approach us and see whether we had any garments she could upcycle. 

The project came at a time when there was a move towards sustainable fashion, with consumers more aware of the impact fashion has on the environment. It is predicted by recycling one tonne of clothing more than half a tonne of carbon dioxide emissions is saved.

Our shop in Halstead was able to provide over 30 wedding dresses, with a great range of colours, designs and materials.

Jenna turned these into Eternal Gift, a sustainable, couture bridal collection that demonstrated how traditional dresses could be incorporated into 21st century looks. The collection has been showcased in a fashion show at Firstsite Colchester and at New Designers, a graduate exhibition at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London.

“Having worked for EACH, this is a charity I’m passionate about,” said Jenna. “The shop kindly gave me a range of options that I was able to work with by deconstructing, overdying, reassembling and transforming the unwanted garments using different techniques and processes that elevated the existing fabrics. The Eternal Gift project and working with EACH was a fantastic challenge and opportunity to juxtapose sustainability with couture.”

Jenna’s work has seen her nominated for Student Designer of the Year in the Bridal Buyer Awards. Bridal Buyer is the UK’s leading bridal trade publication and the winners of its prizes will be announced this month, with Jenna up against five other students.

Tina Tate-Lovery, EACH Shop Manager, said: “As we aim to be the standout charity shop in the area, we’re always pleased to hear about and, when possible, get involved with good projects supporting members of the nearby community. The wedding dresses Jenna used were rather past their time and it’s fantastic to see what she’s been able to do with them. We’re pleased to see they’re being recognised and wish her the best of luck in future.”

Jenna is planning to continue her work in fashion only using fabrics destined for landfill. She is looking for companies to work with on new projects and collections, and can be contacted on 07805 177032 or at jennaleannemartin@outlook.com.

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