NTU student Grace Reeves promotes inclusivity in fashion

NTU student Grace Reeves promotes inclusivity in fashion

 June 20, 2022

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Nottingham Trent University (NTU) is committed to sustaining an inclusive learning and working environment, that is enriched by diversity, values differences and promotes fairness, respect and equality of opportunity.

"...we had the privilege of watching our students showcase their work at Graduate Fashion Week, the world’s largest showcase of BA fashion talent. Huge congratulations to all our students who were selected to show their work," announced NTU.

Grace Reeves, a final year Nottingham School of Art & Design, NTU student, created a gender-neutral dress out of tent fabric to promote sustainability and inclusiveness in fashion.

Grace's work is in line with NTU's gender equality and sustainability focus. The University's Embracing Sustainability and Net Zero Carbon Strategy enable a culture of sustainable development across the NTU community. Reducing its environmental impact and enabling a sustainable culture is at the strategic heart of everything it does.

University championing gender equality

A fashion student created a gender-neutral dress out of tent fabric to promote sustainability and inclusiveness in fashion, writes journalism student Jyothsna Nelloolichalil.

Grace Reeves, 22, who is a final year Fashion Design student at NTU, was motivated to build the piece when she witnessed a massive number of tents being left over after a festival. With an intent to promote ‘inclusiveness’ in fashion, Grace has tried to create the clothing to fit every size, calling it size U or Universal. The undergraduate, who is from Lincolnshire, UK, has designed her branding in braille.

‘’I want to change people's perception of second-hand items by creating something technical and different," she says.

“During my internship, it was sad to hear women complain that many clothes wouldn’t fit them due to their body size," explains Grace. “It’s a shame that people don’t learn textile crafts in school and that’s the reason they throw away clothes because they don’t know how to fix them."

“One of my goals is to make sustainable clothing more affordable," she comments. “It makes me really happy that my clothes can fit anyone, regardless of their size or gender.”

Grace’s clothing is detachable, so that it could be transformed from a high-end fashion clothing to a normal jacket.

“The detachable elements give you more freedom," she adds.

“My concept is that life is a game, you can go to a party and later decide to climb a mountain in the same clothes. I really like versatility,” she explains.

Promoting sustainability and inclusivity in fashion

NTU Grace Reeves (in blue) with models wearing her garments

Being a vegetarian and by limiting the usage of plastic in her art and life, Grace claims to have made sustainability a part of her life. She is intent to set up her own upcycling business after her studies, with a focus on green design and minimal usage of virgin materials.

Her work featured in Nottingham Trent University’s art and design Student Showcase which involved graduating artists and designers displaying their work as part of a public exhibition.

“The design community is increasingly keen on making designs kinder to the planet," says Emma Prince, NTU's Fashion Design Course Leader.

“It is great how Grace includes a personal touch in her upcycling from waste textiles and highlights the importance of inclusivity within her practice,” she adds.

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