• Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

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“Universities have a huge role to play in meeting the environmental challenges the world is facing”

Fashion students at the University of Sunderland have teamed up with Teesside fashion brand Neuthread to create a line of clothing made entirely from fabric offcuts that were destined for landfill.

Neuthread, a brand conceived by Stockton charity Daisy Chain to transform textile waste into desirable high-fashion couture, have been working with the final year students to raise awareness and support their education on the issue of textiles waste.

Over the last five months, the students have taken unwanted garments and other textile items to create new pieces, which are now on display in an exhibition at the University’s Priestman Building on City Campus.

The exhibition runs until Wednesday 6 March after which staff from Daisy Chain will select the best garments to go on sale at Neuthread.

Cárá Baumann, Senior Corporate Partnership, Events and Design Manager at Daisy Chain, said: “We are so happy to work with the University of Sunderland and the fashion students to help support their education on the huge issue of textiles waste. Our charity receives thousands of bags of textiles as donations and the majority of that still ends up as waste.

“The Neuthread brand has been developed to breathe life into these discarded fabrics, and this partnership has enabled us to support students to look at how the textiles can be re-used and, importantly, to develop skills that they can take with them into the fashion houses and onwards in their careers.”

One of the students involved in the project, Diianeira Zympouloki, said: “It was interesting to learn about the use of other textiles to make clothes. I hadn’t really considered re-using material that had already had another use before. I learnt a lot about the problem of textiles waste, and it is something I will definitely be taking forward with me after I leave the University and go into work.”

Laura Middlemass, Sustainability Manager at the University of Sunderland, said: “Universities as a whole have a huge role to play in meeting the environmental challenges the world is facing, and one of our greatest impacts will be the positive changes our students go on to make throughout their lives and careers long after they have left us.

“It is so important that we ensure sustainability skills for the future are included throughout all our faculties, right across the curriculum, and it is great to see the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries and specifically the Fashion Design and Promotion course doing this with real enthusiasm and in a way that genuinely adds value to the student experience and benefits the planet.”

The University’s Programme Leader for Fashion Design and Promotion, Jayne Smith, added: “The word ‘sustainable’ cannot be seen as a trend. Ninety-two million tons of clothing ends up in landfill annually. This project has enabled students to repurpose textiles waste successfully into fashion garments.”

Neuthread was founded in the north-east by charity Daisy Chain, pioneered thanks to funding from The National Lottery Community Fund.

Daisy Chain supports autistic and neurodivergent individuals. For more information, visit https://www.daisychainproject.co.uk/

For more information on the University of Sunderland’s Fashion Design and Promotion course, visit https://www.sunderland.ac.uk/study/art-design/undergraduate-fashion-design-promotion/