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Fashion Students Showcase Sustainable Denim Collections

Some of fashion’s youngest, most innovative minds gathered online to showcase their creative denim designs last week during the sixth annual Ravensbourne University London denim innovation project.

Held in partnership with Kingpins and Transformers Foundation, the competition featured work from 75 second-year B.A. honors students who were tasked with designing a denim collection from concept through to finished garments and branding. Groups of students were given 10 weeks to create their collections and present them in a virtual mock trade show setup. The focus for this year was aptly on sustainability, an element that has become a non-negotiable for brands and consumers alike.

A panel of 38 industry specialists representing mills and other parts of the denim supply chain, trade show organizations and media judged the collections. Winners were selected based on the following categories: best design, best approaches to sustainability, best use of sponsored fabric and treatments, best marketing and/or social media campaign, best collaboration, and most market-ready.

“Each year, I’m impressed by the level of professionalism from the students,” said designer and educator Mohsin Sajid. “The students listen to the problems in the denim supply chain and each come up with interesting solutions. Most of these projects could go to market straight away. It’s very impressive.”

Epicenity was the big winner of the day, earning two awards for best use of sponsored fabric and treatments, as well as the award for “most market-ready.” Sponsored by Candiani, the collection featured luxury denim that challenged the notions of gender-specific clothing while remaining ethical and sustainable.

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Winning best design collection was Neo No No, a line that combined formalwear with classic silhouettes and embraced the “relaxed masculine” and the “authoritarian female.” The group used fabrics provided by Prosperity Denim.

Designers and industry professionals gathered for the final presentations of the sixth annual Ravensbourne Denim Innovation Project.
Neo No-No Courtesy

Decura, an artisanal denim collection, was honored for the best approach to sustainability. Sponsored by Orta, the group focused on designs that were “innovative, practical and long lasting.”

The award for best marketing and/or social media campaign went to 362, a group sponsored by U.K.-based Hewitt Heritage Fabrics. The British men’s wear brand centered on sustainable cotton with multifunctional waterproof nylon coverings.

Finally, Marina Denim won the award for best collaboration for its sustainable designs and commitment to transparency. Sponsored by Artistic Fabric Mills and Jeanologia, the group included QR codes that educated consumers on the garment’s journey through the supply chain.

Sajid, along with Denim Forum founder Sue Barrett, provided mentorship, while sponsoring denim mills provided sustainable materials.

Sponsors included 496 Fabric Lab, Anubha, Artistic Milliners, Artistic Fabrics Mills, Arvind, Bossa, Candiani Denim, Crafil, Crescent Bahuman, Cone Denim, Hewitt Heritage Fabrics, Jeanologia, Kurabo, Medike Landes, Naveena Denim Ltd, Neela, Orta, Prosperity Denim, Tencel/Lenzing and YKK.