BTEC Fashion and Textiles students from Raines Foundation School were introduced to some of the ethical issues that the fashion industry currently faces during one of TRAID Education’s Sustainability in Fashion talks. Following a broad overview of the global supply chain looking at working practices, resource use, consumption, disposal and responsibilities of stakeholders, students were given the context to a live open brief to look at some solutions and work creatively and exclusively with textile waste. The group of BTEC Level 3 students were shown the work of designers offering different design responses to waste textiles before being given an unwanted men’s shirt to upcycle as part of their design task ‘Metamorphosis’.

Ms Kerr, BTEC Level 3 Teacher at Raines Foundation says of the project:

I was delighted that TRAID’s Education Team could return to Raines Foundation School again this year to work with BTEC Level 3 students and to incorporate the upcycled design task into the ‘Metamorphosis’ Project.

Students were told about TRAID’s work and to consider the many ethical and sustainable decisions a designer can make.

They were shown some of the up and coming designers working creatively with reclaimed textiles including the Alex Noble range for TRAIDremade, Christopher Raeburn and Lu Flux. These funky and quirky designers allowed students to consider this upcycling method of sustainable design a perfect approach to our open brief.

Some students grabbed a shirt and a mannequin and immediately got stuck in, whilst others sat thoughtfully and slowly considered what to do before making the first cut.

The shirts evolved (or “Metamorphosised”) through dyeing, deconstruction and reconstruction into a whole new garment. Some are not even visible as a shirt anymore.

It has been an exciting, challenging and rewarding project that I will do again. It ticks many BTEC boxes so the students have also fulfilled a chunk of their qualification within this project. I hope that the project encourages the public to think how an old shirt can be revived and how you can totally transform a garment into something remarkable to design the ordinary into the extraordinary!

TRAID window designer Francesco Colucci puts the finishing touch to the outfits produced by Raines Foundation School students.
TRAID window designer Francesco Colucci puts the finishing touch to the outfits produced by Raines Foundation School students.
The view from Kingsland Road, Dalston.
The view from Kingsland Road, Dalston.
Passers-by admiring the work of the BTEC Fashion students.
Passers-by admiring the work of the BTEC Fashion students.

The finished garments produced by Raines Foundation School students Georgia Walsh Charlotte Dillon, Charlotte Devlin, Louise Aimey, Taja Boodie, Jovilee Burton, Dominika Stovik, Lucy Connier can be seen in a TRAID Dalston window takeover until early 2016 and some students will reveal the process of producing their garment from an unwanted men’s shirt on our blog throughout January 2016.