From education to employment

Talented Fashion Students Bag the Council’s Local Selling Opportunity

Fashion students from Waltham Forest College have produced 3,000 shopping bags in a bid to boost local shopping across the borough.

Seven talented teenagers worked with a manufacturer to create tote bags available at a pop-up shop from 2 to 19 December, at the ‘Hoe Hoe Hoe Street Xmas Bazaar’ Central Parade, Walthamstow.

Waltham Forest Council will also pass on the bags to borough retailers and distribute them for free to shoppers when they buy goods. The bags were printing in the UK and made from quality, premium natural cotton that has been sustainably sourced.

The 18 and 19-year-olds created designs that promote six of the borough’s shopping areas as part of the Waltham Forest Council’s ‘shop local’ campaign.

Fashion lecturer, Elaine McGuigan said: “The bags show important and symbolic landmarks that have been recreated by the students using software widely used in the creative industry. The symbols will be combined with a local map of different borough town centres.

“The student had meetings with council officers, did the research to find the manufacturer, did the negotiations to produce the bags and worked within budget.

“We wanted to give them a really good opportunity to collaborate in a creative way and gain experience of working at a senior level with clients.”

College Fashion lecturers suggested that student produce bags during shop local campaign meeting with the Council’s Business, Growth and Investment Team for ‘Small Business Saturday’, which falls on 2 December. The College had worked with the Council on a pop-up shop earlier this year.

Students using their talent

Rebecca Davey, Head of Business, Growth and Investment at the Council said: “We are delighted to have been able to collaborate with the College and give the students the opportunity to use their talents in a real life environment. The bags are the culmination of much hard work and I am sure they have gained valuable experience along the way.”

The symbols were a market stall for Walthamstow High Street and a Georgian market for Wood Street. Alfred Hitchcock represents Leytonstone, the gate of an old bread making factory is for Bakers Arm, Henry VIII’s hunting lodge for North Chingford, a greyhound racing stadium for Chingford Mount and a Victorian signal box for Highams Park.

The students live in the borough and in Hackney and are in the 2nd year of their BTec Extended Diploma in Fashion. Fashion and arts students will be giving the bags free with purchases in the pop up shop alongside three other independent traders.

Elaine continued: “They were motivated by the project, which is good because we want to make what we teach our students relevant to the creative industry. We have lecturers who worked in the industry and great facilities so we can help them go on to university or employment.

“So, come along and support the students at the Xmas Bazaar at Unit 3 Central Parade on from Saturday 2nd December.

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