An Edinburgh Napier product design student has landed a top industry award with her project that aims to encourage the re-use of maternity wear.
Fourth year student Lauren Cooper’s project ‘Bundle of Joy’ has been highly commended in the prestigious Student Design Awards, organised by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (the RSA).
Bundle of Joy – developed by Lauren as part of her final year project at Edinburgh Napier – is a subscription service that aims to connect women together through swapping clothes, maternity fashion and improving sustainability. The service allows expectant mothers to sign up to receive a bundle of preloved maternity wear.
The idea for the project stemmed from Lauren working within a maternity store and seeing for herself the dilemma expectant mothers face when purchasing clothes they know won’t be worn after pregnancy.
Lauren was delighted to have her project recognised.
She said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have my work recognised by the RSA. When I received the email, I initially thought it was fake! The awards actually coincided with me finishing my course in isolation so it was many emotions at once but I’m delighted.
“I had always wanted to explore fashion within my design portfolio and I also work at a maternity store and encounter pregnant women and their issues throughout every shift. Many are conscious of the environment and are aware that the maternity clothes they are buying will probably never be worn again after pregnancy. This led me to think of a sustainable solution for this demographic and Bundle of Joy was born!”
“Hopefully this project will help shine a spotlight on the need to develop sustainable products and services for pregnant women. Through my research, it’s an untapped market and one that myself and others will definitely put more thought into marking solutions for.”
The Student Design Awards, run by the RSA is an annual competition for higher education students and recent graduates. Each year, the RSA challenges emerging designers to engage with a range of design briefs centred on social and environmental impact.
Among other briefs, this year students were charged with addressing one of the largest environmental issues on the planet – the enormous amount of waste and pollution produced by the fashion industry – by employing circular economy principles.
The brief, ‘Make Fashion Circular’, was supported by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the People’s Postcode Lottery. Entrants responded to the challenge in a variety of inventive ways, reconsidering the materials, products and services used at every level of the clothing supply chain.
Josie Warden, associate director at the RSA said: “The fashion system is a major contributor of waste, carbon emissions and other pollution, including microfibres in the ocean. It is also an industry riddled with poor labour conditions.
“We’ve been struck by the drive of this year’s winners to tackle these environmental and social issues. Design agencies and brands hoping to land new talent need to demonstrate their credentials for contributing to a positive future for the industry.”
Edinburgh Napier’s fourth year product design students also recently held their own online degree show called VISION 2020. Organised through Instagram, the channel feaures a range of work from the students alongside a number of Q&As with different guests from the design industry.
You can catch up with these online here.