Volunteering grows ROOTED clothing brand

Inspired by her work as a volunteer at a homeless centre, a Nottingham Trent University design student has created a clothing brand targeting young people to raise money for charity.

Inspired by her work as a volunteer at a homeless centre, a Nottingham Trent University design student has created a clothing brand targeting young people to raise money for charity.

Rosanna Kennedy decided to dedicate her master's degree in Branding and Identity towards finding a way to encourage young people to give money to homeless charities after her research found it is the under 35 age group which statistically gives the least amount of money to charity.

Her solution was to build a fictional brand – called ROOTED – for a not-for-profit organisation which would help it generate funding by selling branded clothing young people would want to buy.

Rosanna, who volunteered at the Emmanuel House day centre in Nottingham for four months, said: "The end consumer is consciously helping a cause, while serving their everyday needs and desires, without feeling the pressure to give."

Her work is on display until October 2 at Bonington Gallery, Nottingham Trent University as part of the Making Futures '14 exhibition – an exhibition of selected work by graduating students in the School of Art & Design at Nottingham Trent University.

The ROOTED brand identity, inspired by the colours, patterns and textures of the street, was created as a positive take on the term "rootless" which homeless people are often described as being. It was designed to be used on T-shirts and clothing which people can easily buy without needing to try on.

Rosanna, from Loughborough, also thought through the way the items would be packaged for the customers and designed cardboard cases for clothes to be sent in.

"As my brand is primarily online, I wanted to create a tangible experience for the customer through the packaging," said Rosanna. "The packaging can be made into a house-shaped money box, which aims to get young people thinking about saving, while also representing 'change' for homeless people."

The clothing's tags also contain descriptions of how the profits from each item could pay for different homeless services – informed by Rosanna's time as a volunteer.

Rosanna stopped volunteering in July to focus on her master's degree but is planning to return. She is currently looking for employment in the graphics design industry to gain more experience but hopes to be able to launch her brand in a few years' time.

Douglas Wilson, supervisor during her postgraduate degree, said: "Rosie was really engaged in her social enterprise project, bringing fresh perspectives to the problem and coming up with a solution to really engage a young audience to participate in giving to the homeless. She deserves every success in the future."

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Volunteering grows ROOTED clothing brand

Published on 1 October 2014
  • Category: Press office; School of Art & Design

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