Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Textiles Environment Design

The work of recent graduates and alumni from Chelsea College of Art and Design who focused on sustainability throughout their research and design practice can be found on the Textiles Environment Design website below. The varied projects make for interesting reading whilst also showing the diversity of approach from students.

Textiles Environment Design website

Friday, December 09, 2011

Upcycling Chairs!

Old chair
Meeting room
The chairs in this meeting room are in desperate need of an update. We completed our first upcycled chair today and it looks awesome! One down - 7 to go! We are re-upholstering the chairs with pre-loved fabrics selected from our 4 themes, branded with 4 different colourways. 

Deconstructing, sanding and painting the frame.

Re-upholstering the seat and back panels with pre-loved materials.
Tools of the trade.

An upcycled 'Green Economy' colour themed chair.
 For more information about Waste Watch and the four themes please visit the website.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Recycle Your Vans

Whilst in Brighton last week I noticed this incentive to take back your old Vans in order to get money off a new pair. Although I'm not sure exactly how these shoes are 'recycled', I like the incentive Vans give to their customers to take back and 'recycle' their old shoes (although simultaneously providing an incentive to buy a new pair!).

After some further investigation it turns out that Vans have also experimented with more 'sustainable' materials such as recycled PET and hemp.

I would like to see all shops offering services to take back, repair, reuse or recycle the products they sell in the first place.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Youth Group Workshop

 This week I visited the White City community centre to run an Upcycle Fashion workshop with a youth group. With an introduction about upcycling followed by a sewing workshop, time was rather tight as we only had an hour. However, the group began quickly and really impressed me with their neat and straight stitching! The workshop was part of a series called White City/Green Planet at the community centre. This series is organised by Our Common Place, an initiative run by Waste Watch to encourage communities to work together to improve social and environmental wellbeing. For more information please visit the  Waste Watch website

Friday, November 04, 2011

An Upcycled Halloween Costume

Materials sourced from my local charity shop: 1x pair of red trousers, 1 x red skirt, sleeves from 1 x red jumper

Monday, October 17, 2011

Upcycled Jewellery

           Making jewellery with a year 3 class at a primary school

The props used in high street shop window displays are changed frequently and often discarded after use. The beads, bangles, ribbons, pom poms, lace and other such decorations I used in this jewellery workshop had been saved from Monsoon/Accessorize by my friend who works there. The company invest in many props frequently to decorate their visually enticing window displays. After the season ends however, these decorations become 'waste' and are thrown away unless staff or the public save them from landfill. Fortunately my friend could not let these wonderful gems and beads to go waste and took around 5 huge bags of decorations home. I was lucky enough to be able to take a couple of bags from her to use for a jewellery making workshop at  a primary school. The children loved the beads, bangles and gems and when I told them the story of the materials, and that they had been saved from landfill it raised many questions regarding other waste from shops, other things that are unnecessarily thrown away. This is such a waste of materials that have plenty of life left in them and so much potential to support creative projects!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sample Loans

It's always interesting to loan the upcycle-fashion creations to photographers and stylists. I love doing it because the varied interpretations of the pieces and resulting images are always so fascinating to see. It just goes to show how everyone has their own unique style, opinion and view of a garment. Many thanks to stylist Paula Gayle for contacting me and photographer Mary Spencer for doing a great job with this dress I created for Oxjam last year.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Footprint Awards

The Footprint Awards were held at RIBA on 19th May 2011.

Julia Roebuck design for Reynolds

Julia Roebuck design for Nestle
Zoe Grace Fletcher design for Brakes
Julia Roebuck design for Huhtamaki
Julia and Zoe design for Nestle

Friday, July 22, 2011

Recycling Bins around London

Recycling is something that many people probably know they should be doing, yet the majority are not. I see an increasing amount of recycling bins in public places, yet with continuing contamination. A lot of the work I do currently aims to encourage people to see the benefits of recycling - changing behaviours in favour of recycling, encouraging people to value the process and understand the urgent need to see waste as a resource.


London Green Fair

Gatwick Airport

Borough Market

Monday, May 23, 2011

Create Centre Bristol

I visited the Create centre a couple of weeks ago on a trip to Bristol with work. It is an amazing place and has a great website . Do check it out online and also whenever you may next be in Bristol. Every town should have one of these! I am definitely going to visit Bristol again, but next time for much longer, I only had a couple of hours to explore and I know there is so much I missed out on. Can't wait to visit again!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bridal Cupture

A current design project has introduced me to an unusual yet fun and exciting Upcycling process of making fashion/art pieces from industrial waste. The Bridal Cupture dress you see here has been made from around 200 Huhtamaki Bioware cups to be displayed at the Footprint Awards next month. More garments will be constructed - I will update in the run up to the event. I am collaborating with Zoe Fletcher for the awards project and we are both making garments for the awards exhibit.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Upcycle Collective

The newly created Upcycle Collective blog aims to bring together creative upcyclers to share their work and discuss upcycling projects and ideas from all areas of design and manufacture.

I was interviewed for an upcyclecollective blogpost on upcycle fashion.

Do check out the blog and read the interview!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Few and Far

Reading the April issue of Homes and Gardens at work yesterday I found the follow quote.

'Customers are becoming more interested in provenance. They want the story behind how an object is made. This applies to clothes too' 
Priscilla Carluccio, Founder of Few and Far

The items and clothing stocked at few and far are 'A surprising mix of carefully made clothing collections from India - France - Morocco - Italy - the Faroe Islands - Mongolia and the UK, sit happily with contemporary and vintage furniture, toys, craft and tabletop, jewellery and exhibitions.' (

The shop is in South Kensington, London. Check it out if you happen to be passing or online - a fantastic retail experience with the opportunity to buy truly unique and carefully sourced products. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Semple Secrets

Are you be interested in interning for a great initiative and lovely people in Covent Garden?
Maggie Semple Ltd are looking for interns to commit 2/3 days per week. You would be writing blog posts and managing their blog/facebook/twitter pages, helping organise the events as well as being involved in a potential TV pilot.

If you are unable to intern, but are interested in the work of Maggie Semple Ltd., please do visit the website and submit your Semple Story. Semple Secrets is an initiative to reveal the story associated with the most treasured garments belonging to women.  Semple Secrets are looking for women to send their fashion stories, approximately 200-300 words, with an accompanying photo of the garment.

I took my treasured garment (an upcycled Junky Styling hooded top) along to the Semple Secrets event 'Maggie Semple in conversation with Claire Wilcox' last month. Please check out the Semple Secrets blog here to read more!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The People's Supermarket

Today I finally made a visit to The People's Supermarket on Lambs Conduit Street in central London. I watched the series on 4od and LOVED the concept behind it, the determination of the founders and the way the project has progressed and succeeded despite some pretty tough challenges.

It's such an inspiring idea providing a truly community-focused and unique shopping experience - a welcome alternative to the super-mega-hyper-store market retailers that have the monopoly on the market, collectively turning over billion-figure profits whilst simultaneously pushing down prices of produce - often causing extreme pressure on the farmers, with british dairy farmers in particular experiencing a great deal of pressure and suffering as I write this (read a related article here).

The People's Supermarket has now exceeded their original target of recruiting 500 members, providing enough staff to keep the shop open and many more member customers. The prices are competitive, with many products priced cheaper as there are no wage costs. I love that TPS are able to buy fresh fruit and vegetables that don't look perfect. Imperfections or mis shapen food will often not be bought by the giant supermarket retailers and, as a result, become surplus to requirement for the provider, quickly becoming waste. The People's Supermarket plays a vital role in ensuring this food 'waste' is not thrown 'away' - and is instead thrown into the TPS vans and brought to their store to be sold!

I 100% support the changes this supermarket is making to the way people shop, place themselves within a community and work together to make something happen. Although I don't live in Holborn I am going to become a member as I think it's a fabulous idea. By becoming a member I am able to play a small role in the growing success of a unique alternative retail experience and encourage them to look for another site closer to home in Elephant and Castle!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Upcycle Fashion Website!!

The upcycle-fashion website went live today.
Please check it out and get in touch re: all things fashion and upcycling

Thank you!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Fashion Laid Bare

Happy Fairtrade Fortnight!

To mark another important year of fairtrade fortnight events I will be speaking at the Fashion Laid Bare event at Kingston University this Thursday 10th March from 6pm.

The event has been organised by the Kingston University Sustainability Hub and Kingston Fairtrade and will take place at the Penrhyn Road Kingston Uni site.

Other speakers include Barbara Crowther from the Fairtrade Foundation and Abi Petit from organic cotton label Gossypium. Although the main focus for the event is ethical trading I am keen to also engage the panel and audience in the issues of longevity and reuse and to engage thinking within all areas of the fashion lifecycle about the other stages of the supply chain that could cause environmental or ethical damage.

For more information on the event and other fairtrade events and news in Kingston please visit the Kingston Fairtrade website

A review shall follow next week!

Ethical Fashion in the Age of Austerity

Last Thursday night's event: Ethical Fashion in the Age of Austerity was a great event held at the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, East London.

Many crafts people came together to show and sell their work and to meet others who are passionate about the same areas of sustainable fashion.

The Museum was a great venue for the stall spaces, speakers, exhibitions and workshops. I didn't magage to see the main talk earlier in the evening as a steady stream of people wondered past the London College of Fashion stand and interested to talk and learn more about the work.

The MA Fashion and the Environment showcase included examples of students final work, sketchbook development, information regarding external collaborative projects, film footage and information about the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, based at the London College of Fashion. Many visitors were interested in the work of students and keen to understand the ways in which fashion and the environment is taught to students through the MA programme. Zoe Grace Fletcher's knitwear collection was shown alongside her swatches of naturally dyed yarns (displayed in the glass frame). For more information about Zoe's work please visit her website.



 I displayed the two Upcycle-Fashion books alongside previous sketchbook development and my portfolio including articles I have written for the University of the Arts London newspaper and magazine. Taking the book with me to various events such as this is a great experience as I can see the reactions people have to it first hand, whilst also being available to talk through the ideas behind my work and answer any questions they may have or information regarding stockists (I'm working on that one!). As well as developing the content through the school workshops, it is also really important to get feedback from a different audience with a unique approach, with perhaps also a different angle on the issues.


Thursday, March 03, 2011

Ethical Fashion in the Age of Austerity TONIGHT!

If you are free this evening between 6pm-9pm please do come to the Ethical Fashion in the Age of Austerity event at the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green.

MA Fashion and the Environment students will be showing their work, answering questions about the course and future plans of graduating students (!) and giving information about the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at the London College of Fashion.

Other great exhibitors and speakers will be there such as Lucy Siegle, Amisha Ghadiali, Joss Whipple, DIY Couture, Ethical Fashion Forum and the Papered Parlour.

Can't wait!
Report to follow tomorrow...

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Green Carpet Challenge 2011- Oscars Success!

An Oscars success in more ways than one for Brits at the Oscars this year - showing the best of british talent in acting and upcycling!

The Gary Harvey Oscars dress Livia Firth wore to the ceremony was absolutely stunning and she looked amazing - see the piece on ITV London News and Livia Firth's Blog on about the Green Carpet Challenge

Friday, February 18, 2011

Eco Labelling

At a workshop today it was interesting to find these labels on garments. In order to communicate the origin of materials, processes of manufacture and history of a garment, alongside it's 'eco' qualitites, labelling will play a key role in providing this information. Companies such as Made-by (Track and Trace) and Patagonia (Footprint Chronicles) provide their customer with the opportunity to trace the journey of garments, and find out where our clothing comes from.

Rapanui is an eco fashion label passionate about eco labelling of clothing. You can read more information on their website.

Does your clothing label provide any interesting eco information?

Wash at 30 degrees

Fairtrade certified cotton

Recycled Polyester