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NTU fashion design students upcycle textile waste for rough sleeping outerwear

Nottingham homelessness charity Emmanuel House Support Centre and Nottingham Trent University’s BA (Hons) Fashion Design course have joined forces to launch this year’s #EmmanuelhouseNTU project.

Garments from Emmanuel House project

Now in its third year, the 2021 project launched in late February at a virtual presentation to over 100 first year students. It challenged them to make items of clothing for rough sleepers in Nottingham using textile waste.

The students will use second-hand textiles and garments from the Emmanuel House charity shop in Hockley and donations from businesses, family and friends. Considering both functionality and the overall aesthetic, each student will design and create an outerwear garment, which could be used by a beneficiary experiencing homelessness, or sold in the Emmanuel House Charity Shop.

More garments from Emmanuel House project

Alison Escott, Senior Lecturer, BA (Hons) Fashion Design said: “Working with Emmanuel House in this collaborative project educates and inspires young fashion designers. Ultimately this project is a series of problem-solving tasks, from re-purposing suitable waste textiles to re-using them with the needs of a specific end-user in mind – the service users of Emmanuel house.”

During the presentation, the students also heard from an Emmanuel House beneficiary, who has recently stayed at the charity’s night shelter. He told them about his experience of rough sleeping and his critical need to be safe, secure, warm, and dry. Gill Barker, Marketing Assistant at Emmanuel House, also talked to the students about the vital services provided by Emmanuel House, which support rough sleepers across Nottingham.

Gill said: “We asked the students to consider using textiles with properties that are waterproof, hard-wearing, warm, windproof and light, which will be most valuable to rough sleepers. The students were encouraged to think about how their design work could really make a difference and have a positive impact on the lives of people experiencing homelessness, rough sleeping, in crisis or at risk of homelessness.”

Emmanuel House charity shop

NTU Strategic Partnerships Manager, Maggie Burnett, added: “This project enables our students to connect with an inspiring Nottingham charity and engage with the needs of a community that is often overlooked. Not only does the challenge involve creative upcycling and sustainable design thinking, it raises awareness of wider local community issues and a chance for businesses to support a very worthy initiative.”

Thank you to brands within the Pentland Group for their generous donations of fabric and outerwear garments for this project.

Later in the year, students will have the opportunity to showcase their work. The garments will then be made available for beneficiaries to use or go on sale in the Emmanuel House charity shop to raise funds.

Follow their progress and find out more about the project with #EmmanuelHouseNTU on Facebook and Instagram.

Watch the 2019 Emmanuel House and NTU design challenge video here.

NTU fashion design students upcycle textile waste for rough sleeping outerwear

Published on 9 March 2021
  • Category: Business; Current students; School of Art & Design

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