Seevic Connect the Threads

Wednesday, 09 May 2018

connecting threads gwen simpson and studentsAs part of Fashion Revolution Week, Textiles & Fashion Design students at Seevic College, Benfleet, were visited by Gwen Simpson, lead artist from Connecting Threads to talk about her community project and the issues surrounding cheap clothing.

The Connecting Threads project is a large scale community textile project that came about in response to the collapse of the eight story Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh, where a total of 1,130 garment workers died in 2013, after being made to work in unsafe conditions to meet their quota for clothing.

The aim of the project is to create 1,130 textile pieces, one for every person who died, which will be all sewn together to create a large-scale hanging.

So far 198 people have contributed to it, including the college’s A-Level Textiles & Fashion Design students.

The project is also about raising awareness of issues around our constant demand for cheap clothing, questioning our throwaway culture and about reconnecting to traditional sewing skills.

connecting threads textile hangingStudent Blue Baylis-McDonagh, 17 from Basildon, says: “I genuinely feel really upset to hear about what happened in Bangladesh.

“It makes me feel frustrated that we just walk into a clothes shop and don’t actually think about where it comes from. We can’t be that developed if our clothes are still made by slave labour.”

Ellen Garrett, 16 from Benfleet, also added: “It makes me more conscious about where our clothes are coming from.”

Gwen Simpson says: “We have almost reached our target, with probably just 100 more to go. When completed it will be approximately 9 feet wide by 24 feet long.

“I’m hoping to exhibit it at The Festival of Quilts in Birmingham. In the long-term though I hope it will  be bought so I can donate the money to the school that has been set up for the orphans of the 1130 workers who died so they can continue their education.”

Find out more information on our A-Level Textiles & Fashion Design course.


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