NTU students deliver a creative response to the climate crisis through the Rebel Tartan Project
Students on the MA Fashion, Textiles and Knitwear Design courses at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) have recently collaborated with second year BA students from BUNKA Fashion College in Japan.
Students from NTU and BUNKA worked together to respond to a creative project, inspired by and in collaboration with Liberation Kilt (UN Registered) Tartan, with the goal of highlighting the climate change crises. The project will culminate in students exhibiting their work alongside the COP-26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.
14 Students from NTU worked in small groups and attended regular tutorials to discuss their progress and then attended a discussion with the students from BUNKA. The NTU students then presented their work to both students and staff from NTU and BUNKA on 7 July.
Following a similar process, the students from BUNKA will present their creative work back to the NTU students in September.
MA student, Thomas Herbert William Winston Wadsworth commented:
“The Rebel Tartan Project, for me, offered such a range of opportunity. Opportunity for collaboration, both within NTU and internationally with students from BUNKA, opportunity to bring such an important issue into the world of design and opportunity to create personal connections to climate change.
“The Rebel Tartan project attracted me from the start, it is a really powerful project which has resulted in so many varied responses from myself and my peers. It has allowed such a creative hub to develop, all focused on the climate crisis. I have loved seeing everyone take the brief and run with it in such a personal way.“
The ‘Rebel Tartan Project’ involved exploring how Liberation Kilt Company’s range of tartans, which symbolise contemporary social movements, could be used in spontaneous and intuitive ways through creative textile and fashion designs. The students taking part were asked to focus specifically on the Keeling Tartan and the Keeling Dress Tartan designs.
MA student, Swati Praful Chandra Talati, commented:
“This project was a beautiful creative outlet for the passionate anxiety I have regarding what humans are doing to our planet.
The biggest message of my project is that every smallest individual effort counts when fighting this war against climate change.”
The students involved in the project have been invited by the UN Scotland House to display their work, both physical and digital at an exhibition in Scotland to highlight Climate Change alongside the COP-26 Climate Change Conference in November 2021.
MA student, Alyssa Gucci, added:
"The opportunity to work on the Rebel Tartan Project has been an invaluable experience in furthering my thinking and understanding around climate change. Seeing how everyone has interpreted the brief in their own way has been really inspiring. I am looking forward to the Climate Change Conference in November where I hope to exhibit a collective community piece inspired by the work I did during the project, created using samples by the Rebel Tartan participants."
The project was part of the COIL Initiative which aims to implement online collaboration with international partners, sharing design practice while deepening global engagement and cross-cultural communication.
NTU Senior Lecturer in Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles, Juliana Sissons is the founder of the Rebel Tartan Project and compiled the brief in collaboration with Liberation Kilt, using the UN Scotland House registered tartans as the springboard for conversation and inspiration.
“NTU students wanted to investigate sustainability in relation to their own projects and this brief provided them with the opportunity to think how they could introduce links to Climate Change. It was amazing to have the opportunity to collaborate with BUNKA and read their comments during the presentation. It was really great to hear the narrative behind the projects, leading to some deeply informative, thought provoking and rebellious collections and although everyone's work was so diverse, connections were made through the underlying message to highlight the climate change crises.”