My key focus throughout my work is sustainability. I have always strived to explore different ways of lessening my environmental impact whilst creating interesting garments. As an advocate with an ambition to do what’s right for people and our planet, I found a familiarity in punk values and their continuing relevance to a sustainable future.
I specialise in womenswear but challenge this with an open-minded approach to what defines the modern woman, and I strive to make my garments wearable by all. I believe that by removing gender labels from garments where possible has the potential to reduce overproduction of needlessly gendered clothing. This collection allowed me to strengthen my skills including pattern cutting, construction, tailoring and digital illustration.
Researching punk values led me to climate activism, with Vivienne Westwood being one of the most notable Punk activist designers. Following her passing during design development, I decided to pay homage to her work through my collection and fabric choices. I have always felt inspired to develop new fabrics using existing material, leading me to methods of patchworking and distressing denim that result in a bleached effect without the use of harsh chemicals, and avoiding the typical patch-worked look.
A play on a Sex Pistols song led me to ‘God Saved the Queen’ suggesting that the late Queen Elizabeth II and ‘Queen of Punk’ Vivienne Westwood were saved from the dire future that we face if we don’t begin to consider our environmental impact. Inspired by imagery of climate protesters, I developed an angular elbow and hip shape, featuring diamond panels to reference the late Queen’s diamond jubilee. I then developed print and appliqué samples, allowing my collection to speak without a word being said.
Working with Salvation army I was provided with post-consumer jeans, shirts, and hi-vis coats. Hi-vis coats have a lifespan of about 6 months before their visibility is impacted and they are deemed unsafe to wear, then typically sent to landfill. Inspired by imagery of climate protesters, I decided to use these whilst making use of the hi-vis tape to add reflective details around the collection. I used deadstock zippers from YKK which I sourced from their deadstock days, adding a subtle mis-matched detail. Any garments not made from post-consumer textiles have been made from deadstock fabrics. To communicate the collection’s message and imagery further, I developed some screen prints, and used unconventional methods such as using dirty screens to create an aged effect. I found that using less or no weights to hold the screen allowed the print to move as I pulled, creating interesting results. All binders used are water based and disposed of correctly, and any leftovers left for future students.