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London College of Fashion

'Adelaide House' AW19 by Bethany Williams. Photography: Amber Grace Dixon

MA Menswear alumna Bethany Williams, will receive the 2nd QEII Award for Design at London Fashion Week

Written by LC
Published date 13 February 2019

On Tuesday 19th February 2019, LCF alumna Bethany Williams will be presented with the QEII Award for Design on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen at London Fashion Week.

The QEII Award for Design was initiated in recognition of the role the fashion industry plays in society and diplomacy and the movement of young designers that are both talented and making a difference to society through either sustainable practices or community engagement.

Bethany, who is an LCF alumna, is also supported by the College’s fashion and FashTech incubator Centre for Fashion Enterprise (CFE), on their Pioneer programme. She believes that social and environmental issues go hand in hand and through exploring the connection between these issues that innovative design solutions to sustainability can be found. Her current collection ‘Adelaide House,’ which will be shown on catwalk at London Fashion Week on Tuesday 19 February at 4.00 pm builds on the environmental and socially enterprising foundations laid by her previous collections including her SS19 collection, ‘No Address Needed to Join.’

'Adelaide House' AW19, Bethany Williams

Professor Frances Corner OBE, Head of LCF said:

“I am absolutely delighted that Bethany Williams has been recognised with the Queen Elizabeth II Award for Design. Her collections prove that fashion need not come at any cost to people and planet. Ever since Bethany graduated from MA Menswear at London College of Fashion, she has been unwavering in her desire to create a business based on her values – with social and environmental issues at its heart. She embodies a system change that many doubted was possible.  Bethany’s work represents the intelligent and considerate ways that fashion can and should be. Beautifully crafted pieces that customers can treasure – fashion that is meaningful that connects us with humanity – to the people that made the garment, who weaved the textile and carved the buttons. Fashion that encourages social enterprise and gives a percentage of profits back to good causes. This way of working is not easy; to create a business that places sustainability and social responsibility at its core is not without challenges, but this award, which is so richly deserved, should demonstrate that it is possible to embrace and face head on the challenges that threaten our industry – from resource depletion to climate change. I am immensely proud of Bethany and privileged that she continues to work with the college through our ‘Making for Change’ initiative at HMP Downview and look forward to supporting her continued success.”

In line with all of Bethany’s previous collections – Adelaide House has been produced using recycled and organic materials. She has worked alongside Liverpool’s, The Echo Newspaper, using their waste products, and continues to work with San Patrignano in Italy – a community that welcomes those suffering from drug addiction and marginalisation and helps them to once again find their way.Bethany has created fabrics mixed from book waste from San Patrignano and pre-production waste from mills in Italy. She  has also continued working with LCF's ‘Making for Change’ programme, which is a unit which support and training in specialist machines skills for women at HMP Downview.

Caroline Rush CBE, CEO, British Fashion Council said:

“The UK is known for its world-class creative emerging talent, and many of the new generation of talent are embedding sustainable or social impact within their businesses from the start and Bethany is an incredible example of this generation of designer and we are delighted to work with the Duchess of Cornwall this year on behalf of Her Majesty to highlight her work through this Award as another very special moment at London Fashion Week.”

Bethany has created an alternative system for fashion production, she believes fashion is a reflection of society and can create positive change – she is proving that fashion can be extraordinary, individual, beautiful AND take into account the people and the resources in the system. She exemplifies an ethos which is capable of changing the way we view fashion – and how we might safeguard the industry against a backdrop of climate change and political upheaval.