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BE NICE SOCIALFashion and Textiles students with Sudbury based Stephen Walters & Sons Silk Mill.

Our Fashion and Textiles students have recently joined forces with the Sudbury based Stephen Walters & Sons Silk Mill to work on a project based on producing sustainable fashion.

As part of the creative project, in week one the students were invited to the Silk Mill and had a tour of the whole process from design to manufacture of the woven fabric; the students were then given a pack of fabric and yarn to incorporate into a 3D outcome. Any other fabrics and materials used as part of the project were donated or upcycled – no materials were brought in brand new.

Team members from the Silk Mill then visited the college to review the students work and also to hand out some certificates awarding them for their hard work and commitment to the project.

Emily Streatfeild, Fashion and Textiles Course Director said: “Working with Stephen Walters was an amazing opportunity for our students to experience the exciting Fashion and Textile industry and to collaborate with a local business. The students gained so much from visiting the mill and seeing first-hand the wide range of processes involved in producing woven fabrics.”

Emily continued “Working with the pack of fabric remnants provided by Stephen Walter really enabled students to consider the impact of the fashion textiles industry on the environment and they have produced a wide range of extremely exciting outcomes to promote this. The team at Stephen Walters have been absolutely brilliant, from initiating the project to coming in to give feedback on the results, and we look forward to collaborating with them again in the future!”

Sarah Sherry, Design Manager from the Silk Mill said: “We all have a responsibility to make a positive impact on our society and it has been fantastic to work with these students on this project. It has been great for us to work with the students on what we must all be considering in the fashion industry; and it has also been important for us to take a look back at our heritage and to see how far we have come as a business in ensuring purposeful design.”

Sarah continued “We have thoroughly enjoyed working with the college and we will look to display some of their fantastic work at our 300 years celebration event next year. We are keen to build on this partnership going forwards.”

Student India Lloyd explained that: “We have all really enjoyed this project; it’s been great to work as part of a collaboration to work towards something. I think we all need to be more aware of our environment and this project has allowed us to be creative whilst demonstrating the fact we all have a responsibility to practice being more eco-friendly.”

As part of our commitment to practicing sustainable fashion the students also held a clothes ‘shwapping event’ where students and staff were encouraged to give clothes a second chance and to swap them instead of buying brand new.