Thanks to her stand out collection at Graduate Fashion Week last year, Molly Hopwood was awarded the Tu scholarship prize. This allowed her to spend the past year collaborating with Sainsburys to produce a sustainably-focussed menswear collection.

Her graduate collection was a denim line concentrated on sustainability, exploring how denim is typically a very wasteful fabric to produce and trying to discover new, more ethical ways to create it. When speaking about the collaboration with Tu, Spencer said “Tu have been ahead of the curve with sustainability”, so the partnership worked well together.  

Hopwood’s scholarship saw her flown out to Bangladesh to see the factories where her designs would be made, so she could see first hand how ethically the clothes were made, and how well the workers were treated. They also made a point of using low water dyes and low chemical dyes for their denim pieces, to counteract the typically high volumes of water used when making denim garments.

Hopwood’s Tu collection proves that sustainable fashion doesn’t have to be muted in colour. There’s a whole range of brightly coloured shirts, featuring patterns inspired by Japan and Hawaii to compliment Japan’s long running history with denim. Her men’s denim jacket is the highlight of the collection, with stitched buttonhole detail and a classic cut. It was made from completely recycled denim and coloured with low chemical dyes to achieve a classic denim colour.

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Hopwood was thrilled to have been a part of every step of the creative process, from the design, to the factory production, to the styling on set of the photoshoot. Something Robert’s was keen to point out was how involved the Tu scholarship wants it’s recipients to be.

Hopwood was also eager to discuss Tu’s willingness to continue it’s sustainable process when it comes to selling and shipping. Nothing is shipped in plastic to minimise waste, whilst hanging tags are made from card and attached using rope rather than plastic.

The collaboration with Tu and Hopwood was a huge success, and many pieces have already sold out, so make sure you’re quick to snap something up before it’s gone!

Written by Faith Richardson

Photography by Sarah-Charlotte Whalley