Students from Gower College Swansea’s Llwyn y Bryn Campus have taken over the window of a local charity shop to help raise awareness of ethical fashion.
The Foundation Degree Fashion and Textiles students, alongside lecturer Elinor Franklin, are working in partnership with the Samaritans shop in the Uplands to style and customise a selection of pre-loved outfits.
“The window display looked amazing - the students loved the experience of being out and about in the local community and the Samaritans is such a special charity to support,” says FdA Programme Leader Susanne David. “The window display attracted a lot of attention from shoppers and it just goes to show that charity fashion is a great sustainable alternative to buying new. It’s something that I have tried champion with our learners for quite some time as I feel, as an educator, that we have a responsibility to consider the impact fashion has.
“The students are really fired up with enthusiasm now and have even discussed setting up their own reclaimed fashion label in the future, which would be a fantastic exercise in entrepreneurism for them.”
In May, the students will take their artistic talents up to Cardiff, with a similar window display at the Oxfam Boutique in St Mary Street – introducing their creative skills to a whole new audience. For this project, the students have gathered unsold garments and upcycled them, transforming them into one-off, unique items ready to be snapped up by local fashionistas.
“A module on sustainable fashion is included as part of the FdA and the projects in Swansea and Cardiff are a practical response to this module, with the intention of encouraging a change in consumers’ attitudes to ‘fast fashion’ which might seem cheap but comes at a considerable environmental cost,” adds Susanne.
If you are interested in this subject, Gower College Swansea is offering a free Sustainable Fashion - Upcycling Fashion and Textiles Workshop on 15 April.