Ulkrika’s garments made from recycled materials. See more of her work on instagram at: @u.llrika. Credit: Sebastian Johnsrud

 A variety of events organised by Falmouth University’s student union, FXU, have taken place over the past few days as part of Falmouth’s sustainability week.  

Many of us are already aware of the ongoing effort to make our campus more sustainable and are informed of the larger global efforts taking place, however this week has demonstrated exactly what our university is doing to help. On 2 Friday, the fashion and textiles institute and S4S (designing a sensibility for sustainable clothing) will hold an event dedicated to recycling and fixing old clothes, with all revenue donated to Cancer research UK. 

Ulkrika’s garments made from recycled materials. See more of her work on instagram at: @u.llrika. Credit: Sebastian Johnsrud

Coverage on fashion sustainability as an environmental issue is becoming widespread in the UK, particularly after the BBC recently aired a documentary by Stacey Dooley which shocked us all; Stacey Dooley Investigates: Are your clothes wrecking the planet? highlighted the devastating effect that the fast fashion industry is having on the environment, and showed how the planet is unable to sustain our growing fast- fashion industry.  

One Falmouth student has been working for over a year to help find a solution to the fashion sphere’s environmental crisis. Ulrika Vinciunaite is a third year fashion design student at Penryn Campus. She has already attended New York fashion week and completed an exchange program in Milan, her focus this year being recyclable materials made from old interior items such as curtains. When describing her work, Ulrika illustrates how she manipulates the materials to make high-fashion, wearable garments, as well as costume designs which can be used for theatre.  

“I think that by using older household materials it can bring a sense of personality and nostalgia to a piece that you cannot get with new fabrics. By using recycled materials, I am reducing waste, which I believe is important in this industry and something I’m definitely interested in carrying on with in my work.  

“I attended Lineappelle this year in Milan, which showcases leather items such as bags and shoes. Afterward I was able to collect left over pieces of leather which would have otherwise gone completely to waste, which is unbelievable. I feel it is important to have balance when it comes to issues such as using products made from animals (such as leather or suede) or synthetic/plastic materials, which can be even worse for the environment.”  

Ulrika is currently working on her final project using inspirations from her work experience, she has started working with themes such as female empowerment in the 19th Century, particularly during the industrial revolution. Using draping techniques, she is transforming old recycled fabric into creative new styles.

Ulrika and the team at Falmouth’s fashion and textile institute are setting an example on how fashion doesn’t need to be a strain on our environment, by teaching how many materials can be durable, sustainable, wearable and of course fashionable.