London-based designers and UAL alumnae Phoebe English and Bethany Williams have set up the Emergency Designer Network (EDN) alongside fellow designer Holly Fulton.
Central Saint Martins (CSM) graduate Phoebe’s eponymous brand is already a leading voice for making the fashion industry more sustainable; her collections are created from the deadstock fabrics from other London designers.
For Bethany too, a London College of Fashion (LCF) graduate who last year won the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design, social and environmental issues go hand in hand. Bethany has previously been involved in LCF’s Making for Change project, a fashion training and manufacturing unit within HM Prison Downview women’s prison; and each season she collaborates with a different charity to create collections that are fully focussed on real people.
The EDN is a volunteer-led enterprise which has been activating local production and small suppliers to support the NHS by creating key garments, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) for hospital workers. Having created an approved scrubs pattern, EDN along with a group of 10 small-scale UK manufacturers and designers, are working through NHS-certified fabrics to create the much-needed scrubs.
Phoebe recently spoke to British Vogue about EDN, “we might not be able to make millions, but we can create hundreds with the help of the public”.
EDN is looking for people who can support their endeavour in the following ways:
- skilled sewers with sample machinist or garment industry background
- manufacturers with sewing capabilities
- donations – however small – to help fund the purchase of raw materials (NHS-certified fabrics, webbing, thread, etc).
- Alternatively, they can accept some but not all plain 65/35 150gsm poly-cotton fabrics with a preference to mid to light greens and mid to light blues.