Textiles students get eco-inspired!
Textiles students were able to use their creative skills to promote sustainable living as part of a project to create products for a Middlesbrough-based eco business.
The initiative followed a visit to the School by Liz Homan from the community interest company, which works with communities in the Tees Valley on sustainable food growing, cooking and sharing initiatives.
During her visit Liz, pictured below (pre-Lockdown) with a yellow lanyard alongside some of the students and their finished tote bags, spoke to the students about her business and the types of products it would benefit from. Barefoot Kitchen’s focus on growing your own fruit and vegetables and encouraging growing as part of the community inspired the students to reflect the green nature of the venture in their product designs.
The group decided to re-cycle out-of-date promotional tote bags donated by the School’s recruitment team that were otherwise destined for the recycling bin, taking them apart and then re stitching them back together to produce around 70 bags for the business.
Using nature and the tools used in gardening as their inspiration, the students produced a wide range of designs and prints. They also dyed the bags in dye baths using the natural colours from fruits such as pomegranates.
Liz, who has suggested coming back to set up a dye garden at the School for future projects, was delighted with the end product: “We are overwhelmed with the bags. When I collected them I was speechless, they are beyond what we imagined.”
The students said that they enjoyed the challenge of the project which allowed them to use a range of skills.
Beth Allinson, one of the textiles student who worked on the project said: “It was a great way for preparing for university and having to work with a client to produce a finished product.”
Another member of the project group, Finty Farrell, said “It gave us a bit of an insight as to what it could be like working in the industry, having to work to a brief and deadline.”
The Northern School of Art’s Textiles Lecturer, Rebecca Rowe, said: “The students were great throughout the project producing amazing experimental work which they then had to simplify in some cases to be able to mass produce the bags.
“We loved the idea of Liz’s company and really wanted to support the local community with something and hope our small gesture inspires others to promote sustainable living.”
Further details of the UAL Extended Diploma in Textiles course are available at: https://northernart.ac.uk/study-with-us/middlesbrough-campus/a-level-ual-diploma-access-courses/