Selfridges' Bright New Things

ALL IS BRIGHT: Selfridges has partnered with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion on a new project, Bright New Things, which will launch Jan. 7 and champion designers who use sustainable practices.

This is the fifth year that Selfridges will be investing in the talent platform.

In past years, the retailer mentored young designers such as Simone Rocha, Astrid Andersen, Sadie Williams and Christopher Shannon through the platform, known at the time as Bright Young Things.

Last January, the project also celebrated creatives who took much later turns in their careers, including Molly Parkin and Nick Wooster, by reinterpreting the project as Bright Old Things.

By placing the focus on sustainability for 2016, British designers of all ages were chosen to participate, provided they could demonstrate their focus on environmentally friendly methods of production as well as innovative design.

“The project gives us so much insight into the future of fashion. Bright New Things will share a powerful message of positivity and invention in retail, proving that the best fashion sustains,” said Linda Hewson, Selfridges’ creative director.

During the selection process Selfridges and the Centre for Sustainable Fashion went looking for designers who make use of recycling, promote ethical work practices, or use new production processes, which help reduce waste.

NewGen winner Faustine Steinmetz, knitwear designer Katie Jones, and Martina Spetlova, known for her handwoven pieces, are among the nine designers taking part in Bright New Things.

Auria, another London-based label joining Bright New Things, uses nylon sourced from recycled fishing nets to create swimwear, which has already caught the attention of Rihanna and Rita Ora.

Other participants include millinery designer Mich Dulce, who uses traditional materials sourced from Filipino tribes, and Unmade, which uses a software program to allow customers to create their own knitwear.

The designers will be mentored by both Selfridges and the Centre for Sustainable Fashion and will collaborate with the department store’s visual team on an Oxford Street window.

One participant will also receive a bursary, to help them continue the development of their sustainable practices.

The project will run through to March, during which time Selfridges will host a series of events and animation to discuss the relationship between retail and ecology.