Pioneering fashion project boosts charitable causes

Published:

Fashion Technology students from The School of Textiles and Design are being recognised by a UK fashion label aimed at ending homelessness – The Blankfaces.

The 3rd year BSc (Hons) Fashion Technology students have been working on a design and make project with The Blankfaces this semester. This has involved many of them speaking to homeless people and designing ranges of garments and accessories based on their stories.

The projects were exhibited at the school on Tuesday, December 17 where Gerard McKenzie-Govan, the founder of The Blankfaces, announced the winners of the project whose garments will go into production for The Blankfaces brand.

Each of The Blankfaces designs is inspired or created by a homeless person and this inspiration then forms the backbone of their range.

The social enterprise company, who gives 100% of profits to the homeless community, gives the homeless community a platform to tell their story, with designs developed in workshops run by fashion students alongside homeless individuals. The result is a bold clothing line, designed to get people thinking and talking about homelessness.

One of the students exhibiting her work, Dani McCallum, spoke of her excitement of being part of this project.

She said: “When the brief was delivered to us by Bruce and Gerard, I think the class were pretty excited about the project. Live projects are always very engaging but getting to work with such an amazing company that is using an individual's creative skill to convey an important message about homelessness just made the project all that more special. It was about combining fashion with an important social issue.

“The brand have been amazing to work with. They focused on using young talent in their designs and are trying to keep the production of their products in Scotland.

It was so exciting to see everyone's work on display and knowing that 11 people within the class have been chosen to have their work put into commercial production is fantastic!

“All in all it was a very exciting project all be it challenging as we had to approach the brief very carefully with it being such a reverent social issue. I hope that the university can continue to work with companies like The Blankfaces in the future to allow students the same great opportunity that we had. “

Assistant Professor for Fashion & Fashion Technology, Bruce Munro Roberts said: “The project with The Blankfaces has been an exciting opportunity for the Fashion technology students to engage with a social enterprise company whose ultimate aim is to raise awareness of homelessness in Scotland. The students have talked to many homeless people during the project and have used their stories as inspiration for their garments. In a time when fashion is often seen as frivolous and disposable, this project shows that fashion can have a positive social impact.”

CEO of The Blankfaces, Gerard McKenzie-Govan said: “I can't put into words how proud I am of the students. The work that they put in was fantastic. I just want to say a huge thank you to them and to Bruce and the team for getting us involved. 

“Each design we chose as a winner has an amazing story behind it and at The Blankfaces that is simply what we do.

“We take those people that are ignored and looked down on and we tell their story, we give them a platform and a voice. We are about changing perceptions of homelessness.

“The students have taken that to the next level and have blown my mind by the work and effort put in.”

The winners of the project were Julia Malarczyk, Emma Thomson, Rebecca Reid, Narjas Sakib, Freya M Turner, Dani McCallum, Melissa R H Robinson, Alexander Borrie, Laura Toifl, Lauren L Newlands and Anna Chalmers.

More information on The Blankfaces here - https://theblankfaces.bigcartel.com/

 

Susan Kerr

Communications Officer

T: 0131 451 3242

E: susan.kerr@hw.ac.uk