We Catch Up With The Eco Designer Of The Future 2015!
Earlier this year we ran our Eco Designer Of The Future 2015 student sponsorship competition. With entrants from all over the world, we wanted to showcase today's students with a passion for sustainability and incredible dedication to ethical design.
We had some fabulous entries, but once we opened the vote up to the public there was one clear winner. With a staggering 902 votes it was Chloe Wright from Falmouth University. We caught up with Chloe to check out her final collection and talk to her about why being ethical is so important.
Why Do You Want To Be An Eco Designer?
I became an eco designer after being awarded the opportunity to attend the Hay Festival fashion event, which was run by the Environmental Justice Foundation and The Centre for Sustainable Fashion (at LCF). It was a one week course where we created an outfit using sustainable fabrics. We were taught about sustainable fashion and at the end of the week met Katharine Hamnett, who critiqued our outfits. She also choose two out of the nine attendees to be interviewed with her by The Telegraph and at the Hay Festival event on the Saturday. I was fortunate enough to be chosen for both events. Going through this experience allowed me to learn a lot about the benefits of creating sustainable fashion.
Was Working Ethically Part Of Your Course, Or Something You Decided On Your Own?
It was something I decided on my own, if I am honest most people would forget my collection was sustainable because it doesn't look sustainable. Also it isn't something I often discussed - I wanted to create sustainable garments, because I wanted to.
Were There Any Challenges You Faced In Making This Decision?
Trying to source a navy coloured silk! It took me weeks trying to find one, only to end up unsuccessful. I ended up buying white silk from Offset Warehouse and hand dying it. Unfortunately the methods available in my textiles departments weren't sustainable, so I had to make the decision to compromise, and went for the alternative that I would be able to do if I were to produce this garment on a larger scale.
What Are Your Plans Now?
I am currently back at home in Bristol. I've just got a part-time in store role at Austin Reed. So I am currently applying for studio work, design internships and assisting roles. I want to learn more about the industry and hopefully more about sustainable fashion.
What Advice Would You Give To Other Students Considering Being Eco?
Do it! It's challenging but worth it, the results are always beautiful because you are starting with fabrics which you know are made correctly, no underpaid workers weaving your fabrics or children picking the cotton buds. I think knowing how and where my fabrics were made makes me feel like I am contributing to the fashion world correctly. Obviously, I still have a lot to learn and I want to. For me using sustainably sourced fabrics is just the start, but its a great place to begin.
What a fantastic collection! Chloe sourced all of her fabrics sustainably from Offset Warehouse and other sources. She showed real dedication to the cause, and we're incredibly proud to have named her our Eco Designer of The Future 2015. Thank you for your words of wisdom - we can't wait to see what you do next.
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