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Nottingham Trent University student wins sustainable design prize

As part of The Campaign for Wool celebrating its tenth year, sustainable outdoor clothing brand Finisterre launched a student competition to design a range of socks. With a focus on sustainability, and specifically the circular economy and how blends could be avoided or degradable synthetic yards used, Finisterre sought designs for a new range of socks, which made using British wool, would embody the spirit and ethos of the brand.

The Campaign for Wool competition - Winning student Ashira Mellor.

The competition was won by Nottingham Trent University student Ashira Mellor, who is studying BA (Hons) Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles at Nottingham Trent University. Her striking designs incorporated both recycled and degradable yarns to create an innovative and circular sock.

The Campaign for Wool competition
A page from winning student Ashira Mellor's original submission

“Working on the Finisterre sock competition not only opened my eyes to the possibilities of using wool products but allowed me to develop new skills”, commented Ashira.

‘My project was inspired by my own primary images taken whilst travelling which influenced the way I used colour and developed pattern. The project allowed me to take time looking into the beneficial qualities of wool and the ways that it can be designed in order to create a sustainable product with a closed loop life cycle. The importance of this concept being so crucial now more than ever.

“Being given this opportunity has been a wonderful experience and I look forward to seeing the final product. A main aspect I will take away from this opportunity is to design with sustainability in mind whilst ultimately aiming to close the loop on a garment’s life.”

The competition brief asked students to celebrate wool as a product, and with a focus on sustainability, considerations had to be taken into account such as looking into closing the loop on wool - creating socks from old jumpers, socks and even carpets.

Helen Hill, Course Leader and Ashira’s tutor, added: “Finisterre has provided the students with an opportunity to explore design aesthetics whilst considering and understanding the importance of sustainability. Design decisions have an enormous impact on sustainability, and it is the designer’s responsibility to carefully consider the sustainable impact at the design stage. Ashira has demonstrated within her work a strong understanding of the circular economy and how to consider this at the design stage.”