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Some of our students have been working in partnership with Share Aid and Save the Children as part of a collaboration between Open Eye Gallery and the University of Chester.

The University of Chester Fashion Design students have spent the past few months reworking old materials, clothing and interior fabrics to become new, stylish, fun, creative pieces of clothing that can live another life rather than going into landfill.

First year Louise Morgan tells us about her experience working on the project:

"Having the opportunity to work with Open Eye, Share Aid and Save the Children was amazing! As well as helping to promote sustainability it was incredible to see the work that the charities are doing for local communities. I think my favourite piece I made for this was the corset top and the landfill skirt. The whole experience was fantastic, especially working with everyone involved."

The students designed a range of men’s and womenswear clothing as well as gender neutral pieces. The students also took part in a photo shoot, one based in the Share Aid depot, to showcase where the clothing originally came from. The second shoot took place in the Save the Children Chester shop, again showing off where the fabrics originally came from.

The photos taken were by two fabulous University of Chester Photography students, Simon Hyde and Charlie Harris. These photos will be part of LOOK Photo Biennial 2022: Climate photography festival distributed across exhibition venues in the North West! - supported by The Philip Barker Centre.

Rebecca Porter shares her experience: "Sustainability is really important to me and I believe so much more can be done to improve sustainability in the fashion industry - this project being a great example of that! With influencer culture being so big at the moment, people are buying new clothes much more than they used to which usually just end up in landfill. This project was all about encouraging people to buy less and make use of what they already have. Upcycling is super easy for everyone to do and it’s a small part people can do to help tackle the climate crisis!"

Third year Katrina shares with us her time on the project:

"I think it was a brilliant project, having the opportunity to up-cycle old unwanted fabrics and transform them into new outfits, allowed me to show just how easy it can be to reuse and recycle materials without being wasteful. I loved every minute of the photoshoot - it gave me the chance to style clothing on the model and direct her with certain poses and movements, something I’ve never done before but always been interested in. It gives you this excitement that you’ve taken fabrics, transformed them into something and now you're bringing that garment to life."

If you are in Chester, you may have spotted the new window display in Share Aid's Chester store!

Kerrigan Collins, a second year student, tells us why she wanted to take part:

"I did the project as an opportunity to learn about sustainability in the industry and the different paths garments can make rather than going straight to landfill!"

As a young designer going into an industry that creates a lot of waste, it was the perfect opportunity for me to introduce myself to different ways to create sustainable garments that still fit my personality as a designer."

Keep your eye open as we share the students amazing work over the next few weeks over on our Instagram @fashionatchester.

The Open Eye exhibition will launch on July 14th, so be sure to check it out!


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undergraduate Fashion Design