Garment Lifecycles

Following on from our profiles of recent BA graduates, the next graduate we will be profiling is Julia Roebuck. Julia presented a strong conceptual collection of garments based on her explorations into upcycling and zero waste fashion.

She developed several mini-research projects in the lead up to her final collection. Inspired by a pair of old jeans that her friend was throwing in the bin, Julia began to explore ways to deconstruct and then reconstruct old clothes. A classic Burberry trench was reconstructed every evening for five consecutive days, and Julia wore it each day as a new garment, always using all the fabric at each stage to ensure she followed her zero-waste policy.

Julia also developed a series of digital prints using the old pair of jeans, which were folded and scanned to create new pattern, taking 3D garments and turning them into 2D textile samples.

Julia's studio work was a practical exploration of the ideas covered in her dissertation project which was titled Upcycling: An Uphill Struggle? an exploration into the development of Upcycling as a Model for Sustainable Garment Production, which looked at the huge amounts of clothing waste caused by fast fashion and the lack of consumer awareness for the re-use potential of old clothes.

Julia will be taking these ideas further as she goes on to do the MA in Fashion & Environment at London College of Fashion.

Julia's blog


FEI Training Event

Jenny Cooper wrote: Last month I attended the Fashioning an Ethical Industry (FEI) training event for teachers and educators from all over the UK and Europe. The day was organised to offer practical tools and advice to tutors and teachers on how to embed sustainable issue into fashion and textile courses.

One of the most interesting points of the day was the Ethical Marketing workshop ran by Rosemary Varley from London College of Fashion. Rosemary ran the participants through ten key areas ranging from new marketing concepts such as social networking and viral marketing, to the importance of embedding ethical consciousness into young students. After a very vibrant brainstorming session and a super speedy evaluation, the question left on everyone's minds was -How ethical is marketing itself?

Towards the end of the day, Liz and Hannah from FEI encouraged everyone to take part in an open discussion where eight subjects of debate were raised and the participants split into groups to discuss the topics. I followed Dan Godfrey to a table where he asked the question- Can we educate communities and consumers on ethical fashion concepts, not just fashion students?

Many people had comments to make. Rachel Hearson from the Fair Trade Foundation explained how they have actively educated people on fair trade cotton since 2005. Dan Godfrey told us that Dudley Council currently runs textiles workshops educating communities about sustainability and Emma Neuberg enlightened us with news about her exciting and increasingly popular Extended Life Textiles Workshops running through her Slow Textiles Group.

The day was also to launch the Sustainable Fashion: A Handbook for Educators, which includes a comprehensive reading list on sustainable fashion and textiles developed by Caryn Simonson, Course Director in Textiles at Chelsea, which is available via the FEI website.