University of Westminster x Staiy

Dear Readers,

My apologies for not posting in a long time. It’s been a strange time of being busy despite the quietening of our world in many aspects. Some interesting things have been happening in the realms of ethics, sustainability and fashion education which I am delighted to share with you!

Last year, I joined the University of Westminster as a Senior Lecturer on the MA Fashion Business Management!

When speaking Westminster, I was asked what changes I would like to implement and there are clear answers to this:

Ethics

Sustainability

Diversity.

Straight away, I started embedding these elements into my teaching by arranging an industry LIVE PROJECT with the wonderful sustainable platform Staiy who I have worked with previously (as a guest on their webinar and in an interview for their magazine Staiyedit)

Because I genuinely support their work, I reached out to suggest that we could partner up and create a fusion project where young and ambitious students will have a real business partner, deal with real opportunities for sustainable fashion and create inspiring ideas that can become reality, further shaping our unsustainable fashion trade into a much more responsible industry.

STAIY | 120+ Sustainable and Ethical Fashion Brands | Staiy

It’s fantastic that Staiy wholeheartedly accepted. Here is what STAIY wrote about it:

“Staiy partnered with the University of Westminster to provide a learning opportunity for their MA Marketing, MA Retail, and BA Fashion Promotion students. The project aims to present a live example of the journey and the challenges faced by a startup, in particular one with a focus on sustainability. For the students, the main focus will be on branding with sustainability in mind and the experience will go as follows: each participating brand presents their journey. The students thus acquire an insight into the workings of a startup, its elements, as well as will be able to gain various perspectives. The lecturers provide a challenge (assignment) based on these presentations for the students to provide a solution on a case by case basis at the end of the semester. Staiy will be available for the students to contact in case of further questions and will host a Q&A session halfway through the project, on the 9th of March 2021. At the end of the semester, the lecturer will pick the students with the best project, who will get the opportunity to present their solutions to us and our partner brands.


In addition to Staiy as the facilitator, students will be working wit three sustainable brands called KMANA, AAGOLD and NAE VEGAN SHOES.

All three brands are offering a solution to consumer’s concerns and demands and I would like to introduce them here:

Kmana is based in Bali and works with local craftsmen and women from Indonesia.
•Each Kmana bag is unique, hand crafted and made to last decades if not a lifetime.

•Kmana works with small workshops and cooperatives of artisans and creatives, and respect their ways of working, their pricing systems and their deadlines. The artisans also receive due visibility, so that they do not remain faceless.

•All the workshops have been visited and verified by Kmana or by The Bali Curator, to verify the working conditions of the artisans and their staff, the origin of the leather and the social and environmental impact of the tanning process. Kmana are now exploring the use of bar codes in their labels (with rootip) to ensure the transparency and traceably of their materials and operations.

•Kmana states that it is a privilege  working with disadvantaged women, women cooperatives and female artisans!

Check out their wonderful website here: https://www.kmanaconcept.com/

Maya-3-model.jpg

AAGold was founded by duo Arnold Gevers and Verena Stoppel in Munich, Germany.

The brand makes zero waste and unisize clothing! I personally know Arnold from my time lecturing as a professor in Munich and can vouch for his incredible knowledge of fashion design. It makes me especially happy to see him launch a design label that has a beautiful mission – to reduce waste to zero!

The Munich label focuses on designs based on zero waste principles – patterns are developed in such a way that there is hardly any waste during production. For their collections, AAGold look for materials of the highest quality and sustainable, fair production. By creatively playing with detail solutions, special designs are created that are inspired by the strong silhouettes of Asian clothing traditions. The clear line is in the foreground – Fashion with an AA – attentiveness and attitude Change is Gold.

Check out their website here: https://aagold.de/


NAE is a Portuguese vegan footwear brand which was founded by Paula Pérez and Alex Pérez and is committed to providing a fair and animal-friendly alternative, while opposing human exploitation and being respectful of the environment.
At the heart of its origin is their stance against animal exploitation and the ambition to combine ecological and innovative materials with the style, design and quality for which Portuguese
footwear is already known.

Every NAE product is environmentally friendly. All shoes and accessories are all made with ecological, sustainable, and recycled materials and they are manufactured in certified Portuguese factories.
Cruelty is not an option for NAE. None of the products are made from animal skin, fur or other meat by-products, so they are “Animal-Approved”.
You can check out their website here: https://www.nae-vegan.com/en/
vegan shoes

Hopefully, you will check out the wonderful work that these brands are doing. And as our industry project progresses, I will make sure to update you on the developments!

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