Superdry Sustainability Challenge for Fashion Design Students

Industry collaborations are a key part of our courses at the School of Fashion and Textiles and, this semester, BA (Hons) Fashion Design students teamed up with contemporary clothing brand Superdry in a sustainability challenge to create new garments from existing clothing items.

A series of sketches by student Mafelda Andrade

Their brief was to repurpose Superdry off-cuts to create one-off pieces that could fit into one of four Superdry collections - Original and Vintage, Superdry Studios, Superdry Code or Superdry X.

“We’re delighted to be supporting the final year students with this initiative,” said Phil Dickinson, Creative Director at Superdry. “The project enables students to deliver against an authentic brief that reflects the sustainable values at the heart of Superdry. We’re excited to see how the next generation of creatives envisage the future.”

We caught up with Mafalda Andrade, a final year student from Portugal, about her approach to the project and her collection entitled How Dangerous is your Mind?

Images of Mafelda's designs

“My concept connects to one of the brand ranges presented as guides for this collaboration: ENERGY. This range is directed to irreverent individuals who are not afraid to break boundaries and be unapologetically themselves while exploring and embracing creativity. 

My collection is driven by the concept behind Dominic Fike’s ‘What Could Possibly Go Wrong’ album. Throughout his lyrics, Fike shows to be in objection to the environment of the music industry, where the artist almost has to ‘wear’ a mask and embody a different persona in order to please the public.

His reflection on his journey to success in music acknowledges the struggles he went through in the past as well as his moving from his hometown in Naples, Florida to Los Angeles. It is a contrasting mood with moments of energetic creativity and nostalgia and episodes of reflection and dark thoughts of unconformity.

For my final look I am making two pieces, a poncho and a long and boxy under jacket, by deconstructing original Superdry samples. Both pieces are detailed with rushed effects, strap fastenings, draped pockets and panels as well as embroidery, which I have developed through textile experimentations.”

As part of the project students had one-to-one tutorials with stylists and designers from Superdry, whilst documenting their project progress in digital diaries and vlogs.

Senior Lecturer Claudia Huxtable commented: “On the Fashion Design course, we constantly encourage our students to push their creative boundaries, whilst ensuring they consider sustainable practices and who their target customer is. Working with the Superdry team allowed students to gain real-life experience of designing for an innovative and contemporary fashion brand.”

Find out more about BA (Hons) Fashion Design