Derbyshire school hosts first sustainable fashion week challenge

Pupils at a Derbyshire school were challenged to think sustainably after scrutinising one of the biggest contributors to climate change – fast fashion.

Thursday, 30th December 2021, 3:32 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th December 2021, 3:33 pm
Year 9 tutor groups at David Nieper Academy were split up to create nine different outfits, each with a different theme

The sustainable fashion week challenge at David Nieper Academy in Alfreton was developed for Year 9 pupils by Miss Bingham and Miss Topham, who are both teachers of Technology and Art at the school.

It was invented to demonstrate how something new and exciting can be created from old and unwanted materials to reduce the amount of waste produced from the fashion industry.

Over 500 items of materials were donated to the academy, allowing pupils the freedom to design and manufacture fashion pieces – using the annual Met Gala as their inspiration – with assistance from David Nieper machinists.

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David Nieper Academy recently held its first sustainable fashion week challenge

Louise Housley, Design and Merchandise Manager at David Nieper, said: “The fashion challenge was really difficult to judge as the effort and thought that went into the outfits was amazing. We didn’t know how much time went into each of the designs and so this made judging difficult as they were all so good.

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"I think that they rose to the challenge with great enthusiasm and their confidence at performing at the fashion show showed what conviction they all had.”

Year 9 tutor groups were split up to create nine different outfits, each with a different theme ranging from spectacular sport and glamorous gaming, to designer darling and crazy circus.

The pupils had to draw their outfit designs before picking seven donated clothing items, fabrics, and accessories to construct them – having just four minutes to select their choces from a clothing market which was set up within the academy.

Six machinists from the David Nieper factory joined the academy for the day, assisting pupils with the technicalities of manufacturing outfits.

Once the pieces were created, pupils showcased their new fashion designs by walking them down the academy’s catwalk in front of their peers; a panel of judges; many staff and Governors and Trustees of the academy.

The overall winning collection of the David Nieper Academy Sustainable Fashion Challenge was judge to be from Miss Pell’s form, 9CPE.

Miss Bingham said: “Expectations were to be as creative as possible, to work well in a team, and to manage their time well. These were met by a mile with great endeavour from the pupils.”

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