Make no mistake, Alexander McQueen wastes not — which is why the London-based design house is launching its next educational initiative: redirecting its surplus of house fabrics to U.K. fashion colleges.
The initiative kicks off at London Fashion Week on Friday, with the bachelor of arts course show for the University of Westminster and the masters of art course show for Central Saint Martins getting to use donated McQueen fabrics.
One of the designers using the fabrics is University of Westminster student Steven Stokey-Daley, who has used them in his final collection.
It builds upon the education program creative director Sarah Burton envisioned most recently in “Roses,” an installation dedicated to experiences and learning, on the second floor of the brand’s London flagship in January. As of now, 14 U.K. schools are involved in the education program.
Burton acknowledges that the design ethos at Alexander McQueen means that everything used, be it in the research process, including sampling and production cycles, or designing of collections “has always been archived and stored.”
“We’ve never thrown anything away,” she said, recalling working under McQueen, who “helped me source fabrics for my final collection.”
London Fashion Week will also see “clothing swap” initiatives from Global Fashion Exchange and the British Fashion Council, teaming with designers such as recent Central Saint Martins graduate Patrick McDowell.
Elsewhere, companies such as New York City-based Fabscrap are connecting students with excess material, working directly with designers such as Marc Jacobs to obtain excess fabrics and put them into the hands of the industry’s next generation of talent, leading with circularity.
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