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Students’ Fashion award success champions sustainability in Fashion design

25th April 2024

Two Northumbria University Fashion students have had their looks selected to be part of the UNTAGGED x Graduate Fashion Week collection, with one also being named the overall winner of the competition.

Isha Hamid and Ocean Murray, both studying Fashion Design and Marketing at the School of Design, were chosen to have their upcycled outfits listed for sale on the pre-loved fashion app UNTAGGED and showcased at Graduate Fashion Week in June.

The UNTAGGED X GFW collaboration challenged final year design students to produce an outfit using second-hand fabrics and waste materials only, shining a light on the possibilities of sustainable practices through upcycling and regeneration of pre-loved pieces.

Ocean has now been named overall winner of the competition, with her collection due to be showcased on the ‘Best of the catwalk’ show at Graduate Fashion Week.

Her designs were inspired by nostalgia elicited from fond childhood memories of her Nannan and Grandfather’s house in Scotland. During one visit after her Nannan decided to sell the house, Ocean found old images, media, documents, unwanted garments, and fabrics including lace curtains. This formed the basis of her final look, which was a jacket, complete with voluminous sleeves, pocket flaps, binding bows, and a rounded collar, with a complementary shirt and shorts in the same playful vintage style.

 Caption: Ocean Murray UNTAGGED X GFW Final Look

She said: “I found the experience a rewarding challenge. Only having a finite amount of fabric to work with was tricky, especially creating three garments that were cohesive, and I had to constantly adapt when faced with new challenges.

“To have garments that I have designed and created, with such a personal aspect attached to it means so much to me. It was exciting and funny getting to call my Nannan and tell her that her old lace curtains and bed sheets were going to be professionally photographed.”

Isha, who specialises in print and streetwear, based her project on the ‘preppy girl meets grunge’ aesthetic. She created a mini skirt and waist coat, made by meticulously sewing little squares of fabric she collected from her fashion retail employer that would ordinarily be placed behind the security tag to protect the garments from ripping.

She said: “Normally this fabric would get thrown away and I had an idea to collect all these scrap fabrics and make something out of it, which this competition then ended up being ideal for.

“I found it quite fascinating sewing all these little squares of different types of fabric together because of the way it all sat together. I created a long piece of fabric and started to pattern cut from there.”

Caption: Isha Hamid UNTAGGED X GFW Final Look

Sarah Walton, Assistant Professor in Fashion at Northumbria University, said “We continue to be impressed by the inventive and resourceful ways our students approach sustainable fashion challenges. Isha and Ocean’s projects are an excellent example of the responsible planet-based design principles we aim to embed in our programme in the hope that graduates can make a meaningful impact on the world with their creative practice.”

Isha and Ocean’s final pieces will be showcased at Graduate Fashion Week this June.

Discover more about studying Fashion at Northumbria by visiting the course pages.

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