A variety of samples
About me

Hello, I’m Beth - a textile and print designer, passionate about colour, pattern & sustainability. My final collection celebrates reclaimed denim - this passion for sustainability came from early research and seeing the detrimental effects of fabric waste and off-cuts within the Textiles industry. I strive to make a positive difference in the world - creating solutions to big problems and responding to challenges, to ensure future generations have a greener, and more sustainable future. I aim to be sustainable through all the work I create - meaning that I am using and celebrating resources that I already have - contributing towards the circular economy.

A lot of my inspiration comes from colour and textures found in the beautiful everyday - mostly the small and mundane, yet beautiful moments. My final collection, as shown below, was inspired by everyday moments during the challenging times in which we found ourselves in during COVID-19. 

Headshot image of myself
Project description

Denim: it’s functional, beautiful and durable. It has so much potential. One pair of jeans however uses 10,000 litres of water in the production process: that is the same amount one human drinks over 13 years. The amount of water and energy used is causing extreme environmental, social and humanitarian damage.

Introducing R3: re-store, re-purpose, re-imagine. A textiles collection that cares about the end of life of denim, using cradle to cradle systems and adopting circular economy beliefs to tum reclaimed denim that once was trash into treasured, usable and purposeful pieces - through the power of textile techniques such as digital print and patchwork. This collection promotes slowing down: re-using what we already have, reducing landfill, and promoting how we can be more sustainable. This was made possible through local and national collaborations, including partnering with Hiut Denim and Simprint.

Throughout lockdown, I have felt a sense of ‘slowing down’ my everyday life, so that I can learn to find joy in, and celebrate the everyday small, mundane yet beautiful moments. I gathered inspiration through imagery and colour stories of the beautiful everyday. Colour and texture was then extracted from these photographs to feature throughout my collection. If COVID-19 has taught me anything, it is to value the small moments in the everyday - and find joy in them - the act of slowing down really is beautiful.

This sense of slow is one way in which we can contribute to promoting a better, more ethical environment.
 

Close up of samples
Ethos: re-store, re-purpose, re-imagine

Throughout my work and final collection, I have a strong ethos to stay sustainable - creating solutions to big problems and responding to challenges, to ensure future generations have a greener, and more sustainable future. For my final collection in particular, my material has been 100% reclaimed denim - this is a mixture of post consumerist (from charity shops, family and friends) waste and production (factory off-cuts) waste. I have been fortunate enough to work with Hiut Denim, a leading jean brand - to use their off-cuts to re-store them into new and valuable pieces.

Digitally printed and restored jeans
Restored jacket and jeans, digitally printed onto
Restored and digitally printed jacket
Samples on form
100% reversible jacket - made from reclaimed denim.

My final collection celebrates local and national talent and creatives - working with a variety of companies and individuals. This jacket was made in collaboration with Hiut Denim (who supplied the old denim end of metres), Simprint (who digitally printed the design) and Pocket Clothing (who constructed the jacket).

Show Piece Reversible jacket
Samples - structure and spontaneity in the everyday.

My final collection celebrates structure and spontaneity in the everyday - I gathered inspiration through simple imagery and colour stories of the beautiful everyday. The beautiful bubbles on the top of a coffee. The rusted paint on the edge of a building. The beautiful architecture in built up cities. The calming nature of an outdoor walk. The peace of the stillness of water. My collection was then broken down into two groupings: structure and spontaneity. 

The majority of my collection was digitally printed, with a big thanks going to Simprint Print Company. Due to using reclaimed denim, I couldn't use online print companies - I also wanted to celebrate and cherish local talent - so I worked with Simprint to print my final collection onto the reclaimed denim. This process was also much more environmentally friendly than other print techniques, due to using less water and chemicals in the process.

Close up of samples
Behind the scenes Photoshoot video
Behind the scenes Photoshoot video

This video shows the behind the scenes of the photoshoot, showing the garments and samples in context. Creative direction was by myself, Bethany Leedham, videography was by Naomi Whitehead and the model was Gaby Chavrimootoo

Collaborations
External partners who I worked with during my final collection.
Skills & Experience
  • Proficient in Adobe software
  • Productive whilst working under pressure
  • Experience in the Print Design industry
  • Experience working with Proworks Bottles
  • Good knowledge of key topical debates, such as sustainability and clothing waste
  • Able to plan effectively and meet deadlines
Photos of samples with light shining onto the designs

Bethany Grace Leedham

R3: re-store, re-purpose, re-imagine