Recycle Runway Comes to MarketPlace

Hand-cut teardrops and circles from aluminum cans embellish both dress and shoes. The 1920s retro flapper dress was sewn from a used cloth shower curtain. This matching combo took 200 hours to make. Created in 2004. Commissioned by Novelis. Photos by Eric Swanson.

The creative genius behind Recycle Runway from New Mexico- Nancy Judd and her colleague Nicole visited us at MarketPlace this week. Nancy is an artist and environmentalist who creates couture fashions with trash. Her designs have been commissioned by companies such as Delta Airlines, Coca Cola, Toyota and Target. Nancy collaborates with non profits, businesses and the government to promote her vision.

The uniform, hat and purse are sewn from worn-out leather seat covers from Delta planes. The cape is made from replaced safety cards, Sky Magazines, old plane tickets, and pretzel wrappers all cut into strips and sewn onto worn pillow cases. The cape was then lined with a discarded Delta blanket. Both the cape and purse appear to fly in the wind thanks to armatures created from metal wire used for yard signs during the last presidential election. Recycled aluminum cans were used to create the vintage Delta symbol on the purse, hat and belt. The Purse was designed and made by Tierra Ideas. The entire suit took 200 hours to make. Completed in 2011. Commissioned by Delta Air Lines. Photos by Jay Sturdevant

Nancy uses everything from soda cans to discarded seat covers to old magazines and broken glass for her creations. She says, “I make sculptures that can be worn for a very short duration. I make these garments to teach people to care for the environment. I hope that when people see my garments they will learn to look differently at trash. And hopefully they will make changes in their own lives and start recycling and reusing. People make important choices every day- the clothing they wear, the transportation they choose, the food they eat- all these decisions have an impact on the environment.”


The team at MarketPlace interacted with Nancy and Nicole and shared ideas about recycling materials to create wearable and non-wearable craft pieces. The artisans at MarketPlace have created several interesting pieces with “chindi” (scrap) pieces of fabric that could be used for bags, belts, patches on garments, cushion covers etc.


Nancy was quite impressed with the recycled designs created by the artisans at MarketPlace. Joseph, from MarketPlace described to Nancy how the pieces were created, “We use all the leftover fabric in our workshops to create a patchwork fabric. The designers are the artisans themselves, for the most part. They take great pride in creating an original appliqué sample.” The artisans shared their knowledge of Indian textiles with the guests- especially some of the fabrics that had batik prints on them were of particular interest to them. Some of the Indian embroidery samples with mirror work on them were also discussed in detail. Nancy suggested possible uses and variation of the samples to the artisans and innovative ways to use the patches on products or garments.

Recycle Runway is currently exhibiting at Atlanta International Airport through May 2012.

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