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Hi, my name is Lauren, a lingerie designer and sustainable activist living in London. My work is based around my own three main values: sustainability, ethics and transparency. As my knowledge for fashion began to grow, the realisation that my career path did not marry with my lifestyle habits allowed me to innovate my brand Dear Planet, the zero-waste lingerie brand.
Thank you! Obviously, graduation was not what I had envisaged it would be four years ago when I started my course, however the dedication from UAL to give us some form of graduation is more than enough. I am very grateful to have had my work showcased during the ceremony and this may not have happened if the event was in person.
When I found out that UK landfills are set to be full by 2022, I was shocked, devastated and angry that no one was talking about it. Combined with the knowledge that lingerie is the least sustainable piece of clothing in our wardrobes as it never breaks down, I set myself the task of creating functional intimates that break down within one year. All the products use entirely natural fibres and last just as long as regular undies, it is just the disposal that is different. The consumer can plant Dear Planet products in the ground, compost bin and plant pot for them to fully decompose.
I hope that Dear Planet products will begin to make a dent to the waste we currently send to landfill. I hope that the collection will be at the forefront for change in the way consumers view fashion, be it through transparency or ethics. Highlighting to consumers the true cost of underwear with breakdowns of product cost and profit. Ethical production with national living wage throughout the supply chain. Suppliers based in the UK, with the brand motto being ‘fashion no longer deserves to have secrets’. At an overview, Dear Planet will be a pioneer for honest fashion.
To me sustainable fashion can only come from a brand that does not lie or deceive consumers via greenwashing or any other kind of deception. No brand will ever be perfect. Use of unsustainable materials may mean their products last longer and therefore the consumers buy less, or a brand could pay below national living wage but with really high-quality ethical fabrics so that their products are more accessible. As long as a brand is open and transparent about what they are doing well, as well as what they can improve on, I would consider that sustainable fashion.
To study at LCF had always been a dream of mine, however after coming out of A-Levels I did not feel ready to take the leap into university and decided to do a foundation course. I studied fashion as a general topic for a year but found my work always related back to contour in some way. I am much more of a commercial designer and so lingerie became the perfect fit for me.
During my time at LCF I was part of the Enterprise challenge in 2020 in which I achieved third place.
In 2020 I was also a semi-finalist in The Mayor of London Enterprise Challenge. The following year, I reapplied for The Mayor of London Challenge and gained the same acknowledgement of a semi-finalist.
I was also put forward by Graduate Futures to represent LCF in the venture crawl in which I pitched against 12 other universities in front of 300 people and won.
Innovation! The industry has so much innovation, from fashion pieces made from microorganisms to dyes made from waste CO2. The use of traditional fashion techniques combined with technology is such an exciting place to be.
I would love to be running my business full time as well as mentoring others who want to start their own business. As mentioned before, innovation is what excites me about fashion and the future of fashion. Being part of many creative awards and challenges has allowed me to meet some amazingly talented students, and in the future I would love to help people with the same entrepreneurial spirit to aid them in their own growth as well as their business.
LCF as a university has amazing opportunities from Graduate Futures, the enterprise year, to the Alumni programme. My best advice for anyone starting LCF is to say yes to everything, push yourself to the limits and do every extra-curricular event that pops up because it is very worth it!
I want to say thank you to all of the amazing staff on the BA (Hons) Fashion Contour course, in my 24 years in education I have never met a group of people who care about students as much as they do. The past year has been so difficult, but they have been with us every step of the way. They push you to your potential while still understanding you as a designer. I couldn’t have asked for better teachers!
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