Forget mass produced, designer's leather is eco friendly

Local designer and founder of Marsuzs Designs Maria Smith (middle) combines her passion for fashion and the environment with her recycled creations. Back from left: Sophie Wright, Jessica Cullen and Anna Pugh. Front from left: Camryn Mathison, Ashlyn Martin and Cailin Martin.
Local designer and founder of Marsuzs Designs Maria Smith (middle) combines her passion for fashion and the environment with her recycled creations. Back from left: Sophie Wright, Jessica Cullen and Anna Pugh. Front from left: Camryn Mathison, Ashlyn Martin and Cailin Martin. Photography by Murray Ware

THE leather look is huge this winter and local designer Maria Smith has her own secret to the look.

She uses heat and plastic bags.

"I use heat fusion. It makes the plastic quite firm and strong," she said.

Mrs Smith has been creating for a fashion show at Gladstone's Ecofest for the last four years.

Her show is an example of creating fashion without buying.

"Use your own creative mind to see things that you know you might be able to create something out of," she said.

"It's important for this generation, because everything is packaged.

You cannot buy anything that isn't completely wrapped or in a plastic bag."

Today, fashion is a quick, cheap adrenaline fix for style junkies.

"That's progression, the way the world is running at the moment," Mrs Smith said.

"Everything has to be done very quickly, right here, right now for the cheapest price. It's a disposable society that we live in.

"Things don't last like they did 20 or 30 years ago. You can't get things repaired. For me doing alterations is difficult as it may cost more than the item in the first place."

The art of sewing, while not a lost in producing countries, is dying in Australia.

"It is not being passed on," Mrs Smith said.

"It's something that needs to be nurtured.

"What is our next generation going to want to be like? Are they all going to want to sew?"



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