RECYCLING has never been more fashionable. Which is why the No Frills charity fashion show, planned by Huddersfield University Business School students and featuring one-off reconstructed garments, is right on trend.
The show, on Friday, March 5, at the Holmfirth Picturedrome, is being organised in collaboration with textile recycling company Bag It Up, which is supplying donated clothing to a team of local designers who will make new outfits from old.
“We’re asking fashion students and designers, who already work with recycled textiles, to create garments for the show,” explained Ciara Walsh, one of the management and marketing students involved in the project.
“Our search for designers is continuing so I’d like to hear from any who’d be able to help us,” she added.
Managing the event will be a team of eight students, including five foreign students. “As part of their business degree course they get to choose an event to design and host themselves,” said Nadio Granata, senior lecturer in the Business School.
“From the profits the university will be making a donation to the Keep It Up appeal, which is a partnership between recycling company Bag It Up and Huddersfield Town football club. The appeal raises money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the club’s youth academy,” he explained.
The theme of the show will be no-nonsense, rustic and ‘grunge’ clothing and the aim will be to keep costs down as much as possible. A team of Mark Riley hairdressers will be giving their services on the evening.
Models will be drawn from the town’s student population and a VIP guest list is being compiled to stimulate interest in the event. So far, Denby Dale magician John Danbury has agreed to give his services as compère and Kirklees Mayor, Clr Julie Stewart-Turner, a member of the Green Party, will be attending. Entertaining in the VIP lounge will be Elizabeth Coyle, singing teacher at the Exit 25 theatre school.
The organisation of the event is a major undertaking for Ciara and her fellow students. The Picturedrome can accommodate up to 700 people and, as she is discovering, a lot goes on behind the scenes of a fashion show.
Bag It Up has clothing and textile recycling banks all over the region.
According to Alison Jones, regional development manager, clothing donations across Yorkshire help to raise an astonishing £20,000 a month for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, with those in Kirklees supporting the Keep It Up campaign.
“We have arranged delivery of a bale of random garments (150kgs) to the university for the designers to work on. It will be really interesting to see what they come up with,” she said.
One of the designers already signed up to the project is Karen Dennis, a part-time lecturer and the owner of a recycled fashion design company called Ketchup.
She uses a variety of techniques to create new designs from garments and fabrics and explained how she works: “I do re-knitted T-shirts and dresses, where I shred up T-shirts and knit them into something new; re-cut leather jackets, using old leather jackets and re-making them into a new biker-style jackets; woollen jackets made from factory offcuts from a Yorkshire mill; and re-cut jersey dresses made from old T-shirts – cut up and stitched back together.
“I also use a lot of old duvet covers and household textiles.” Some of Karen’s work is seen here and other examples can be viewed at www.ketchupclothes.com
Another young designer joining the team is textile graduate Fiona Gabanski-Sykes, who has her own label and sells recycled fashion.
All of her garments are made from fabric and clothing salvaged from secondhand markets and charity shops, including duvet covers, curtains and head scarves. Using secondhand materials, she says, is not only cost effective and friendly to the environment, it also means that each item she makes is unique.
Tickets for the show go on sale from today priced £5 for students and concessions, £8 standard, and £12 for access to the VIP lounge. They are available from www.picturedrome.net and the University of Huddersfield’s Business School through firstname.lastname@example.org. Designers who want to join the team should contact Ciara on email@example.com
To find your nearest textile recycling bank use postcode locator www.bagitup.org.uk