South Essex College students appeal for fabric

COSTUME Construction degree students at University Centre Thurrock are appealing for donations of fabric to boost their green credentials.

The students, who are studying on the Costume Construction degree at the University Centre Thurrock, the Higher Education branch of South Essex College, are looking for fabrics which might otherwise be thrown away, to use as part of their quality creations.

Donations are particularly being sought from fabric suppliers who may have end of line, damaged, or unwanted stock.

Anthony Formal Wear in Billericay has donated a range of fabric which will provide a boost to the students’ appeal and they are now hoping more companies will follow suit.

Course Leader Rachel Young explained the drive was to promote sustainability, reuse and recycling.

She said: “The building the course is run from at the High House Production Park in Purfleet was designed to be as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible, so we are always looking at ways to embrace this within the course.

“Fabric suppliers may send items to landfill because they are slightly damaged, no longer needed or out of fashion. It’s these materials that are perfect for our students because of the range of styles and periods of costumes they create. Using this material benefits everyone and really boosts our green credentials. I’d like to thank Anthony Formal Wear in Billericay for its generous donation of fabric which will be put to good use.”

The students are already looking at ways of reusing and recycling materials they use. A typical dress can take up to nine metres of fabric to make, as well as five metres of backing material. The off cuts from these are stored and used for smaller projects. Even the smallest of off cuts are used as stuffing for costumes so every scrap is used to minimise wastage.

According to a Defra report, around 1.5million tonnes of clothing and textiles waste are discarded every year in the UK. Of this 1.2million tonnes ends up in landfill.

In their bid to learn about sustainability, students on the course, which is run in partnership with the Royal Opera House, have enjoyed visits from representatives of the Arcola Theatre in London, the world’s first carbon neutral theatre.

If you have any fabric you wish to donate, please contact Rachel Young on Rachel.Young@southessex.ac.uk

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