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Luxury brand is donating leftover fabrics to fashion students in the UK



Young fashion student posing at a lab
Georgia Bate, fashion student from Brighton: initiative allows us to cut down on the existing waste

Through its Institute of Positive Fashion and BFC Colleges Council, the BFC is helping Burberry’s donations – which include a variety of fabrics from past collections – reach the hands of young creatives and up-and-coming designers. Providing a blueprint for brands and colleges to work together to offer practical support for future talent, the initiative enables creativity in a way that is positive for the environment, education and the collections of future creatives.

Launched in 2020 with the BFC, the ReBurberry Fabric programme provides donations of leftover fabrics to fashion students, upcycling surplus fabric and saving it from going to waste

‘We are committed to supporting the next generation of exciting creatives while ensuring we all do what we can to protect the environment. We’re proud to be working with the British Fashion Council once more to help emerging diverse talent achieve their ambitions, while reinforcing the importance of sustainable practices and circularity. By equipping students with these materials and tools to help their creativity thrive, we can all create a better future for our industry.’, says Nicole Lovett, Responsibility Programme Director at Burberry

The partnership has continued with a second donation through the programme, taking the total amount of fabric donated to over 12,000 metres to more than 30 fashion schools and universities in the UK, including the Edinburgh College of Art and the University of Brighton.

‘For me, the most important aspect of the initiative would be that it allows students like myself to work with fabrics they wouldn’t have had access to before. As new designers, we want to be working with as many different types of fabrics as possible in our experiments and in the trialling stages. Along with being very wasteful, this process can be really limited and hard to do when keeping to a budget. This initiative allows students to cut down on the existing waste and provides us with more materials to work with, which I think is so important.’, acknowledges Georgia Bate, 1st Year B.A. (Hons) Fashion Design with Business Studies student at the University of Brighton (pictured above).

‘One of the BFC’s priorities is to encourage the industry to move towards a circular fashion economy while supporting excellence in fashion design. We are delighted to work with Burberry, helping ensure students across the country have access to the best quality fabrics. Creative talent is at the heart of the industry and we are proud of our world-leading colleges – being able to provide these students with such opportunities is a privilege.’, says Caroline Rush, Chief Executive at British Fashion Council.


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How I moved out of my apartment of 3 years with just two duffel bags



Gabriela Knutson and a minimalist bedroom
Waste: the average adult American has been estimated to throw away approximately 37kg of clothes every year

I was in my third and final year of graduate school and I only had a few weeks left. Before I started packing, I started to gather up all my belongings into piles and I realized one very important thing… I just had so much stuff. My drawers were filled with random junk that I had forgotten about, shirts and underwear I had not worn in months and, most importantly, little knick-knacks I thought I could not live without. All this stuff was making me feel overwhelmed, panicky, and stressed about where the heck I was going to put all of it when I moved away. I did not need any of it – I just felt an arbitrary sense of connection to them.

I was literally studying a MSc degree in Sustainability and Energy, and yet I had so many pointless belongings and so much waste! I felt like a hypocrite, so I decided to make a change. I read books and countless articles, and watched documentaries, on an up-and-coming movement called sustainable minimalism.

Then I got rid of the stuff – almost all of it. That random shirt I got from an event? Sold on Depop. The earrings I got as a gift, wore once and never again? Donated. The “going out” shoes I would never ever let see the light of day? Tossed in the bin.


Meet sustainable minimalism, also called ecominimalism – a movement that has taken the environmental community by storm. It is a lifestyle that embraces simplification and rejects consumerism to free up space for the more important things in life.

You know that urge you get when you see a new iPhone, a new pair of shoes, or a new car? It is that purchasing drive that makes you want it, need it, and be unsatisfied with what you have until you get it.

The average adult American has been estimated to throw away approximately 37kg of clothes every year and to spend over $1900 on garments over that same time period. The main driver of this is fast fashion. Ecominimalism is a way to remove yourself from this endless cycle of consumerism and marketing-induced desire, while also having the added bonus of minimizing your carbon footprint in the process.

Minimalism emerged in the late 1950s as an art movement but has since then grown to become much more than that. Now it is not purely aesthetic. There are numerous minimalist influencers on YouTube and social media that preach about the core values and ethics of minimalism. At its core, its values are:

  • Own fewer things to clear up space in your life for what truly matters.
  • Live with intentionality and purpose.
  • Free yourself from your need for new personal belongings.


Becoming a sustainable minimalist does not mean you need to create a capsule wardrobe or throw out all your possessions tomorrow. On the contrary, being a truly sustainable minimalist means wearing and using everything you own for as long as possible. Don’t throw out that iPhone just because you saw a new one came out. Don’t buy a new shampoo when you have a perfectly good one lying in your shower hamper. That shirt you don’t like? Transform it into a dish towel, or a blanket, or donate it to a friend or local charity shop. Zero-waste living is important, but we can take it a step further with minimalism to live with intentionality and love for our items.

If you want to simplify your life, reduce your stress, and help the planet, start slow. There are many methods to declutter your apartment, exercises to help you choose which items to keep and which ones to toss, and how-tos on what to purchase when you do need something, but the most important step is this: stop buying so much stuff you do not need and focus on you, your life, and your family and friends.

To learn more about sustainable minimalism or the minimalist movement itself, here are some helpful links:

Becoming Minimalist

The Minimalist Vegan

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Global contest to design a sustainable car is now open



Polestar team at a Nadasq event
Swedish automotive brand Polestar was established in 1996 and recently listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange

A design contest for aspiring designers, both professional and students, is now accepting entries.

Launched in 2020, the annual Polestar Design Contest, powered by the Swedish electric performance car, will award winners – one for interior and one for exterior design. Following the previous two themes of ‘Pure’ and ‘Progressive’, the 2022 Contest brief is to design a Polestar that is the antithesis of the classic idiom of high-consumption performance rooted in the 20th century. It must visually show a new form of ‘Performance’ and tell the advanced technical story that enables this in a sustainable way.

“For a design to be presented on the world stage in much the same way as one of Polestar’s own concept cars is a money-can’t-buy opportunity for any designer. We want to encourage, support, and celebrate innovative design, and the people who realise it. What better way to do that than to present a full-size model of their creation on the centre stage at one of the largest automotive shows in the world?” – says Maximilian Missoni, Head of Design at Polestar.

Since the start, the contest has featured a variety of vehicles and cutting edge concepts, and draws entries from students and professional designers across the globe. The ground-breaking designs have previously included a car which tackles local pollution with on-board and externally visible air filters, an electric-and-helium airship, prosthetic springboard blades for walking and a luxury yacht that exuded Polestar’s minimalistic design tonality.

This year, Polestar plans to produce the winning design as a full-size 1:1 scale model, expected to be showcased on the Polestar stand at Auto Shanghai in April 2023. Deadline for initial design submissions is 31st August and 10 professional and 10 student designers will be shortlisted after initial submissions of 2D design material.

More information on how to enter the Polestar Design Contest can be found here.

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Winners of 2022 Rank Prize awarded in London



Professor Cathie Martin
Professor Cathie Martin: "receiving the Rank Prize is wonderful recognition that we might have achieved something worthwhile" | Photo: Carl Bigmore

The 2022 Rank Prize, an award established in 1972 by British industrialist and philanthropist Arthur Rank, has awarded Professor Cathie Martin of the John Innes Centre for her outstanding research into plant genetics and metabolism, resulting in fruit and vegetables with enhanced nutritional qualities in a ceremony taking place in London. Martin’s work on gene-edited tomatoes recently hit headlines when it was announced that these tomatoes, which can boost the body’s vitamin D, could soon be sold in the UK.

“Professor Martin is a powerful advocate, and practitioner, of plant science for human health. As we tackle the twin challenges of increasing human health and protecting the health of the planet, her research is globally significant.” – says Professor John C. Mathers, Chair of Rank Prize’s Nutrition Committee.

The winners of the 2022 Rank Prize for Optoelectronics are seven internationally leading scientists who have pioneered the development of a new solar-cell technology based on perovskite semiconductors which looks set to play a key role in the future of solar power, including Professor Michael Graetzel, Dr Akihiro Kojima, Dr Michael Lee, Professor Tsutomu Miyasaka, Professor Nam-Gyu Park, Professor Sang Il Seok and Professor Henry Snaith.

“Last ten years have been an unexpected and unbelievable journey of discovery, and the next decade promises to be equally exciting, as we accelerate the global transition to carbon-free energy production.” – Celebrated Professor Snaith.

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