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AUB graduate wins British Fashion Council’s Sustainability Award


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Jodie Alford, a BA (Hons) Fashion student from Arts University Bournemouth (AUB), is celebrating after winning the British Fashion Council (BFC)’s 2024 Student Fabric Initiative competition.

The BFC Student Fabric Initiative is a dead-stock donation project created to encourage the donation of quality fabrics and components to students studying at BFC Colleges Council member universities.

The purpose is to help students gain access to free quality materials and to promote sustainability through the use of dead stock as part of their design practice. The scheme’s ultimate ambition is to create a simple and efficient way for designer brands and universities to collaborate and provide practical support for future talent, bringing conscious design and circularity even closer to the heart of fashion education in the UK.

The initiative invites fashion design students at BA and MA level to think creatively about dead stock and circularity. Students submitted a design proposal that could be fully realised and showcased at the Institute of Positive Fashion (IPF) Forum 2024.

From thousands of entries across the country, just four finalists were selected to exhibit their garments at the (IPF) Forum, with high-profile guests from industry attending the event voting for their favourite creation.

"The brief for the British Fashion Council Student Fabric Initiative Competition 2024 was to utilise dead stock to create one full look,” Jodie explains. “This look was included in my final university collection, Balance, and was made with fabrics that are exclusively dead stock.

“Working with dead stock can be limiting, so I developed a fabric that utilised small amounts. The dead stock was sourced through a collaboration with Mother of Pearl, as well as Parisian dead stock shops that source end-of-roll fabrics from the luxury fashion industry.

“Patches were then cut and embellished together to create one fabric, then layered with yarns to add texture and hint towards the knitwear. This technique can be brought forward to utilise excess fabric scraps, pushing for zero-waste production.

“The buttons are a natural plastic alternative known as Corozo, made from Tagua Palm Tree nuts from Ecuador. The yarns used for the ribs are made using 100% Melange Wool, dyed straight on top of the natural colour of the sheep to cut out the harmful bleaching process.

“In terms of the garments’ aesthetics, the knitwear pulls inspiration from Cornish countryside views, reflecting a more pared-back way of life, while the concept centres around the struggle to find an ideal work/life balance."

Jodie also explains that the collection is targeted towards working mothers, with the ambition to start a family and simultaneously build a brand "symbolised through a juxtaposition of tailoring and knitwear."

BA (Hons) Fashion Course Leader El Crehan says, “Sustainable practice and conscious design is at the heart of the Fashion course and is central to course debate. It’s something we think and talk about with students all the time, so when the opportunity to demonstrate this through a high-profile competition like this came up, we were extremely excited. Jodie’s work was authentic and considered – it was the perfect entry!”

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