College Creative Arts Show Sees Upcycled Fashion Take Centre Stage

A homelessness charity has helped fashion students from North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College to appreciate the benefits of recycling after they used items of clothing from its emporium within their annual fashion show.

The students unveiled their upcycled clothing collection entitled ‘Junk Couture’ at the college’s creative arts Hinckley Campus during a week-long series of events to mark the end of the academic year.

Emmaus Leicestershire & Rutland, based in Hinckley, provides a home, support, and meaningful work for up to 16 people who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion. First-year fashion students were invited by Emmaus to help them sort and select donations of clothing at their Hinckley-based Emporium charity shop at Stockwell Head on the understanding that they could take away any items for upcycling in exchange for a charity donation.

Creative arts tutor Joanne Hall said, “We’re grateful to Emmaus for this opportunity which has opened students’ eyes to the possibilities of high street charity shops. They have been working hard to upcycle new items of apparel from a range of materials including a pair of curtains and some leather biker trousers which one student has turned into a skirt, top and jacket! The students were so impressed with what they found, they worked together to raise a £70 donation for Emmaus.”

The creative arts show marks the culmination of two years’ hard work for final year students at the college who unveiled their work in art and design, fashion and textiles, games design, graphic design, journalism, interior design, performing arts, photography, and visual media. Arts and media students have collaborated on an exhibition to showcase their work on the theme of ‘Empowerment’.

Dawn Wright, Director of Emmaus Leicestershire & Rutland said, “We’re excited to be working together on this project. Our charity is grateful to the students for their fantastic fundraising so far, and we very much enjoyed attending the fashion show to see first-hand how their creativity and upcycling talents have transformed the pieces they took from our Emporium charity store.”

Carrie-Anne Abdulai, Assistant Principal for Higher Education and Adults at NWSLC said, “This show is a significant milestone as we celebrate all the hard work and dedication of our staff and students this year. It provides a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase their achievements and see first-hand the high standard of work that students produce at our creative arts campus in Hinckley. The experience of our fashion students has taught us to appreciate the inspiration that is inherent within our local community and what can be achieved when we collaborate with local organisations such as Emmaus. We have enjoyed opening our doors and enabling students to share their work online providing them with an opportunity to celebrate their creativity and recognise their achievements.”

‘Empowerment’ is open to the public until Friday 30 June 2023. Everyone is welcome and there is no need to book. Prospective students who are interested in the creative arts can find out more at the college’s Hinckley Campus open event on Monday 26 June from 5pm – 8pm. Visit the college website to register and see times of other campus open events during the week.

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