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Enterprise Challenge 2022 – winner – SAGES, natural dyes derived from food waste

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London College of Fashion (LCF), UAL is pleased to announce this year’s winners of its annual Enterprise Challenge; a platform that showcases the creative talents and entrepreneurial mindsets of current London College of Fashion students to the LCF community as well as key members of industry. Winners are recognised in the categories of first-place, second-place, third-place and ‘highly commended.’ 

The first-place winners of the 2022 Enterprise Challenge Award are duo Alice Simpson, MA Fashion Design Technology (Menswear), and Emily Taylor, MA Fashion Futures, for their pitch on SAGES a company creating natural dyes derived from food waste products. In recognition they will receive funding from the Challenge sponsors Shaftesbury PLC, , PR and digital coaching support from Sister London, marketing promotion from Eyes on Talents, mentoring from The Wall Group and one year of a Soho Friends Membership from Soho Works including two feature interviews and a dedicated launch event for their business idea at one of their locations. Simpson and Taylor will also be fast-tracked to the UAL Creative Enterprise Awards Finals later this year. 

Second prize was awarded to Neha Mathew, MA Fashion Entrepreneurship and Innovation, for their pitch around haav, a creative enterprise repurposing surplus fabric into sustainable home decor products. Third-prize was awarded to Caitlin Higgs, BA (Hons) Creative Direction for Fashion, for their pitch around Un:earth, a service enabling users to trace the lifespan of their clothes. 

Highly commended went to Isobel Wiles, BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear, and Johana Kasalicka, BA (Hons) Fashion Photography, for their pitches on CLoSh, a closet-sharing social media platform and NOVEY Zine, a new independent publication with a digital layer of augmented reality content, respectively.  

Now in its sixth year, the annual event culminates every June after an open call for submissions to LCF students across all year groups for ideas for an innovative product or service that they feel could make a real difference to a community, client or consumer group. 

This year’s final took place on 15 June at Soho Works 180 Strand in London, where the five LCF students short-listed as finalists ‘pitched’ their ideas to a judging panel of esteemed industry representatives comprised of Amma Amihyia (Senior Manager, The Wall Group), Ioan Williams (General Manager and Membership Manager, Soho Works), Jonathan Chippindale, (CEO, Holition), Karen Baines (Head of Group Marketing and Communications, Shaftesbury PLC) and Linda Roberts (London College of Fashion, UAL, Director of Graduate Futures and Business and Innovation). As part of the event, there was also a keynote speech given by Ashwini Deshpande, 3D fashion designer at Meta, Director of 3D Production, Republiqe andfounder of Art-Z, a sustainable fashion software startup. Ashwini is also a London College of Fashion alumna with a first-class degree in BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Development as well as a former Enterprise Challenge runner-up. 

The five students selected to take part in yesterday’s final were chosen by a carefully selected committee of influential representatives from across the creative industries that included Ian Mason (Founder, Rainbow Bridge Education, Humble Hub and Future Leaders Network)), Ian Smart (Co-Founder, Impact Central), Muchaneta Kapfunde (Founder and Editor-in-Chief, FashNerd), and Youwie Roes (Talent Acquisition Manager, Eyes on Talents) who is also supporting the first-prize winner with marketing promotion. 

Alice Simpson and Emily Taylor, the winner of this year’s Enterprise Challenge, said:

“We are thrilled to have won the Enterprise Challenge this year and we are super excited for our next steps. Being recognised for what we are trying to achieve is a wonderful thing and we are so grateful for everything that London College of Fashion, UAL has given us.” 

Karen Baines, Head of Group Marketing and Communications, Shaftesbury PLC said:

“Shaftesbury is delighted to be part of this exciting initiative to support a variety of emerging talent. Our ethos is to encourage entrepreneurship and seek independent and creative new concepts for our shopping and dining portfolio in Carnaby, Chinatown, Soho and Seven Dials. The Enterprise Challenge is a brilliant example of this ethos, and marks another chapter of our long standing partnership with London College of Fashion, which has endured for over a decade.” 

Linda Roberts, Director of Graduate Futures, Business and Innovation at London College of Fashion, UAL, said:

“London College of Fashion was first founded in response to industry needs, and we continue to ensure that our students are encouraged to think, work and grow from a place of entrepreneurship to help prepare them for their careers. By looking forward to discover where in the industry there might be skill gaps, or what new roles are evolving, our students are equipped to think about what businesses need to thrive. LCF’s annual Enterprise Challenge is a brilliant example of the many opportunities that London College of Fashion provides to celebrate and showcase the entrepreneurial spirit of our LCF community and goes hand in hand with our Founder’s Club, which connects alumni businesses with industry and one another through a series of networking events. We are immensely grateful to have the support of all of our industry partners for our 2022 Challenge – from those supporting our finalists with funding, mentoring and expertise to those that took part in the short-listing and judging panels – all are helping us to nurture our talented students, and soon to be graduates, in the early stages of establishing their businesses which will directly shape the future of fashion.” 

The Enterprise Challenge is organised by London College of Fashion’s Graduate Futures team who, in addition to the Enterprise Challenge also engage with students who are seeking business advice through 1-2-1s, skills building sessions, the London venture bus crawl, LCF Founders Club and over 700 hours of curriculum time to date. They have supported over 60 businesses and worked with over 600 students. Previous recent Enterprise Challenge winners include LCF alumna Olivia Weber (2019) for Trashion Factory, a non-profit community interest company with the aim of spreading upcycling and longevity in clothes and LCF alumna Chamiah Dewey (2020) for, Chamiah Dewey Fashion, the UK’s first sustainable, adaptive womenswear brand for women of short stature and/or with Dwarfism.

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