Friday 29th November 2013 at 1.00pm
Scott Sutherland building Lecture Theatre SB42
My journey into sustainability began on the undergraduate course in fashion design. Inspired by 1940’s Make Do and Mend, my final collection saw the upcycling of luxury pre-consumer cashmere waste transformed. Having identified pre-consumer waste as a problem, I also began research into complex Zero Waste fashion design; research that was to win the attention of Marks and Spencer and the judges of the Scottish Fashion Awards.
My fashion design career highlights include, Best Student Designer Finalist at the Bridal Buyer Awards 2009 and Scottish Fashion Graduate of the Year Runner-Up 2011. My paper wedding dress submission for the 2009 BBA won media attention and my zero-waste, organic and transformable design won the attention of Marks and Spencer, gaining me a work placement with the company. The month I spent in London at the M&S Headquarters allowed for an insight into the business practice of a company who aim to become the world’s most sustainable retailer by 2015 with their ‘Plan A’.
After graduating from Gray’s School of Art, I moved on to the Business School where I completed a Masters degree in Fashion Management. During this time I was given the opportunity to study with fashion students from across Europe, in Copenhagen, on a course entitled ‘Innovating Sustainable Fashion’. It was here that I identified a direct link between education and sustainability; that somehow knowledge could inspire change. On my return to Scotland, my final Masters assignment, the dissertation module, was focused around this idea; ‘A critical analysis of the role of education as an influence on the sustainable consumption and disposal of fast fashion’.
My current role as a Recycling Officer with Aberdeen City Council has allowed me to explore further the link between education and environmental change in a real life context. Bringing a creative element to the job, my most recent assignments have included a Christmas ‘how to’ guide and an interior design project on board the Waste Aware bus. It is a challenging yet exciting time in the waste arena, as we work towards meeting the Scottish Government’s ambitious Zero Waste targets.