Textiles 2030: Fashion students transform old clothes and help transform lives

A collaboration between Winchester School of Art and The Salvation Army has raised £3,800 to support the charity’s work and shown how clothing bank donations can have a positive social and environmental impact.

The collaboration began in April 2021 when the BA Fashion Design Senior Teaching Fellow, Sophia Malig, asked the Clothing Collection Division of the charity for second-hand donations to help with the students’ 2nd year projects. A van load of donations (around 1 tonne!) was delivered to the School.

Sophia said: “We were amazed with the amount and variety of the donations”. Sophia spent the week sorting the items into colours and fabrics which was an important part of inspiring students to reuse and recycling. Fashion Design Programme Leader Cecilia Langemar said: “Students used the opportunity to be innovative and creative, but still with the perspective of the end customer in mind.”

During the Winchester Fashion Week (11th July to the 18th July) the Winchester School of Art student’s creations were on display in two special pop-up shops kindly provided in the Tourist Information Centre, in part of The Guildhall in Winchester and the university campus. The bespoke and couture items were available for sale along with various vintage and retro items from The Salvation Army’s charity shops including womenswear, menswear, knitwear and accessories. Then again in September for Freshers’ Week, a further dedicated pop up shop was set up.

The journey continues during Textiles 2030 Week of Action

For Textiles Week 2030 (18th to 22nd October), our Eastleigh shop has created a display in their shop window and almost sold out of all the students’ designer items after 2 days. Shop manager Diana Payton said, “We are very excited to take part in this sustainability project. The student’ creations look amazing. We had lots of fun putting the display together and we hope to make lots of sales and see our lovely customers wear them.”

This sustainability project will be displayed in our Eastleigh shop for Textiles 2030 Week of Action, to help educate the local community regarding sustainability and promote second-hand fashion. All profit from the various sales events as part of this collaboration will support The Salvation Army’s vital work.