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Going from trash to très chic

(Photo contributed)

Deborah Carter has an endless supply of materials that she uses to create her fashion line, Smooth Stone Clothing.
Sometimes she uses linens or cotton. And sometimes, she works with a dash of trash.
“Very rarely do I actually buy fabric,” said Carter, while glancing from one end of her Lenox-based studio to the other. “In fact, about 90 percent of the materials I have in here are donated.”
Carter designs and constructs women’s apparel out of both common and uncommon threads. But instead of relying on brand-new fabric, she uses recycled materials.
Though she sewed growing up in Westfield, and made much of her clothing as a teenager, Carter first started dabbling in the upcycling movement — which transforms items that have outgrown their first use into something of value — a few years ago.
Following high school, Carter attended the University of Vermont for her undergraduate degree. From there, she moved to Boston briefly before taking a bite out of the Big Apple and enrolled in a two-year program at Parsons School of Design in New York City. She also studied at The Arts Students League of New York.
While in New York, she designed women’s sportswear on 7th Avenue. Much of the aesthetic at the time include big prints and floral prints.
“It was fast-paced and eye-opening,” she said of her experience. “It was a great opportunity to be creative and come up with designs.”

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