MSJ Student Shines Light on Global Issue

5th February 2019

Lily Rawlings, a Year 12 pupil at Malvern St James Girls’ School (MSJ), has raised over £600 for a leading marine charity after creating a fashion show to raise awareness of the damage that plastic is doing to our oceans.

Lily drew on her love of fashion for her Extended Project Qualification to design and make 14 unique outfits that were modelled in a catwalk show – ‘Trashion’ – at MSJ. She chose to support Ross-on-Wye based charity, Marine Conservation Society, the UK’s leading charity for the protection of our seas, shores and wildlife.

‘Trashion’ was endorsed by Elle Magazine UK and the Herefordshire-based company Two Farmers. Anne-Marie Curtis, Editor-in-Chief at Elle UK, said, “I’m very impressed with your project. Clever to combine fashion with passion for an environmental cause – brave and bold; it so deeply affects the fashion industry.”

Lily used upcycling and recycling to create her designs, combining clothes found in charity shops and plastic materials that would otherwise have been thrown away. Bin bags, shower loafers, party tablecloths, bags, foam netting, straws and duct tape were just some of the plastic ‘trash’ that Lily used in her designs. Lily studied at the London College of Fashion last summer and drew on her inspiration and experience of the course to create her designs.

Lily explained, “This project enabled me to combine my passion for fashion with raising money for a global issue. The aim of the show was to raise awareness of ocean pollution through an entertaining fashion event. I was giving fashion a voice, and the sponsorship from Elle Magazine UK and Two Farmers helped me gain credibility and traction for the event. This project has taught me lots of practical textiles skills as well as project management.”

Mrs Olivera Raraty, MSJ’s Headmistress said, “Lily’s event was a real triumph. She spoke so confidently and passionately about the pieces she had created and gave the audience some very powerful messages about upcycling, and playing our part to protect the environment through the day to day choices we make.”