David Nieper Academy hosts first sustainable fashion week challenge

Posted by: Laura O'Neil

Mon 7th February 2022

With the effects of climate change becoming increasingly more severe, David Nieper Academy has been scrutinising one of the biggest contributors, fast fashion.

Miss Bingham and Miss Topham, teachers of Technology and Art at David Nieper Academy, developed the idea of a Sustainable Fashion Week Challenge for Year 9 pupils.

The challenge was invented to demonstrate how something new and exciting can be created from old and unwanted materials to reduce the amount of waste produced from the fashion industry.

Pupils were to use the annual fashion extravaganza, the Met Gala, as their inspiration.

More than five hundred items of materials were donated to the academy, allowing the pupils freedom to design and manufacture their fashion pieces with assistance from David Nieper machinists.

Year 9 tutor groups split up to create nine different outfits, each with a different theme.

The themes in each collection were:
Neon Nineties
Designer Darling
Spectacular Sport
Glamorous Gaming
Sun, Sea 60’s
Upside Down, Inside Out
All Black Everything
Crazy Circus
Fabulous Festival

The pupils had to draw up designs for their outfits before picking seven donated clothing items, fabrics, and accessories to construct their outfit. A clothing market was set up in the academy and pupils had just four minutes to select their choices.

Six machinists from the David Nieper factory joined the academy for the day, assisting pupils with the technicalities of manufacturing outfits. Pupils liaised with the machinists to professionally sew the garments together on industrial machines before adding accessories.

Once the pieces were created, pupils showcased their new fashion designs by walking them down the academy’s catwalk in front of their peers; a panel of judges; many staff and Governors and Trustees of the academy.

Louise Housley, design and merchandise manager at David Nieper, and Jane Hallows judged the overall winning collection of the David Nieper Academy Sustainable Fashion Challenge to be Miss Pell’s form, 9CPE.

Winners of the subgroups were:

Neon Nineties—Ethan Molly
Designer Darling—Abigail Cope
Spectacular Sport—Riley Bennett
Glamorous Gaming—Scott-Lee Dale
Sun, Sea 60’s—Archie Pugh
Upside Down, Inside Out—Riley Radford
All Black Everything—Isabelle Kirk
Crazy Circus—Trinity Boxall
Fabulous Festival—Ellie Farndon

Louise Housley commented: “The fashion challenge was really difficult to judge as the effort and thought that went into the outfits was amazing. We didn’t know how much time went into each of the designs and so this made judging difficult as they were all so good. I think that they rose to the challenge with great enthusiasm and their confidence at performing at the fashion show showed what conviction they all had.”

Miss Bingham commented: “Expectations were to be as creative as possible, to work well in a team, and to manage their time well. These were met by a mile with great endeavour from the pupils.”