Bath Spa student wins prestigious British Fashion Council sustainably-led competitionFriday, 28 April, 2023
Final year BA (Hons) Fashion Design student Anna Kalifatidou is celebrating as she has been announced as the winner of this year’s prestigious British Fashion Council Student Fabric Initiative.
With sustainability at its core, the national competition brings together fashion brands and education establishments, to provide practical support for students, while also helping to reduce the waste of materials across the industry with donations of leftover fabrics and threads for upcycling.
The design brief for the Initiative - which was open to both undergraduate and Masters students studying at BFC Colleges Council member universities - was centred around addressing one of the BFC’s Institute of Positive Fashion’s (IPF) three pillars of foundation: Environment. Students’ work needed to demonstrate their understanding of environmental and social impacts within their design while utilising deadstock fabric.
Anna showcased her design proposal and final look at the BFC’s IPF Forum on 20 April, and was delighted to have been chosen as the overall winner by a panel of industry judges, including those from the BFC and IPF, as well as The Materialist, a London-based hub for the buying and selling of high-end deadstock fabric from brands and mills.
Speaking about the Initiative’s impact on her as an award-winning fashion designer, Anna said:
“The BFC fabric and thread donation helped to elevate my collection aesthetically. The coloured threads caught my attention, taking me back to my research and colour palette, and by using deadstock fabric and yarn I was able to minimise my environmental impact.
“The textile was created on a Juki Baby Lock embellisher and both the right and the wrong side of the fabric appealed to me, so the coat I created was made to be reversible. Two looks in one, less garments, less fabric, more options."
Anna also used her professional creativity when it came to making the garment’s label, which is signed ‘Love, Your Coat’. Speaking on this, she said:
“The coat’s label is a caring message to its customers and owners for a viable future. As a future fashion designer, it is my duty to consider the impact of my practice environmentally and socially. My focus is to show people that by using these resources, I can create something beautiful and unique.”
The theme of sustainable fashion was threaded throughout this year’s BFC IPF Forum which is an annual actions-based conference, committed to bringing together designers, brands, investors, innovators, academia, economists, consultants and disruptors. The Forum is committed to accelerating its work towards developing a Circular Fashion Ecosystem by 2030, with initiatives such as this competition forming a key part of that.
Caroline Rush, BFC CEO added:
“The BFC Student Fabric Initiative’s ultimate ambition is to create a simple and efficient way for designer brands and universities to work together and provide practical support for future talent, bringing sustainability and circularity even closer to the heart of fashion education in the UK.”