Meet the LCF students shortlisted for the prestigious Mayor’s Entrepreneur Programme.
Open to students living in London and registered at a London university, the Mayor’s Entrepreneur Programme asks applicants to pitch an innovative idea within one of four award categories: Creative Industries, Environment, Smart Cities and Health. Offering a £20,000 prize, the initiative has been set up to find inventive new ways to improve the physical, environmental and mental health of London and its inhabitants, as well as offering students the chance to exercise their creative and entrepreneurial skills.
We caught up with seven London College of Fashion students, including winner Ashwini Deshpande, who with the support of the College’s unique careers and placement service, Graduate Futures, were selected as semi-finalists. Here they tell us about the range of courses they study and their big ideas for the competition.
WINNER – ASHWINI DESHPANDE Course: BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Development – a course focused on customer-centric design for the current day market. Project: PROJECT ART-Z
A software that uses artificial intelligence to reduce fabric waste in the fashion industry at the pattern cut- ting stage, with the aim of eventual zero waste. The innovative project which was founded just last year, went on to win the London Mayor Entrepreneur Competition for Creative Industries, securing a total of £20,000 in funding.
‘I am very excited about receiving this award,” explains Ashwini. “I was not expecting it because I was up against a lot of strong competitors, all of them at a higher educational level than me. It is a huge sum of money and will carry my business forward a long way. Knowing that the judges were excited by my idea and believed that I can make a change gives me a lot of confidence to take Art-Z forward.’
ABHINOV ASOKAN Course: MA Fashion Futures — a course which I high- ly respect and appreciate, as it taught me to be critical about the existing fashion system and to create a better alternative for the future. Project: LINTASTIC: An Alternative to Plastic
A strong, recyclable and customisable material made of lint from our dryers, LINTASTIC can reduce microplastics pollution from lint, as well as reduce plastic usage, with the hope of making fashion accessories and footwear in the near future.
(LEFT) Mariyam Khatri
(RIGHT) Lauren Finn
LAUREN FINN Course: BA (Hons) Fashion Contour – a course special- ising in lingerie and includes marketing, manufactur- ing, pattern cutting and designing. Project: DEAR PLANET
Dear Planet at its core is a lingerie brand, which focuses on four elements — sustainability, ethics, transparency
and design, with the products being fully compostable once loved and worn.
LU ZHOU Course: MA Fashion Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Projects: SEAWEED WONDERLAND LTD.
Focusing on sustainable, healthy, eco-friendly, sea- weed-derived functional clothing and hygiene products, aiming to build a magical seaweed wonderland and on- line seaweed knowledge repository in the UK. Project: MASK ATM
PPE dispensing machines providing masks at public places across cities in the UK, making it more convenient, safe and acceptable for citizens to buy PPE in the post-lock- down environment in the UK.
MARIYAM KHATRI Course: MA Fashion Futures – a course that changed my idea of design, keeping sustainability at the heart of what I do. Project: REpurpose
Repurposing textile waste generated from pattern cut- ting and excess, with a focus on accessories and souvenirs.
NADEZHDA USKOVA Course: BA (Hons) Fashion Buying and Merchandising – a great pick for me, as it combines the business side of fashion, while still embracing students’ creativity. Project: Condensate
A concept store based on physical experiential retail in the age of e-commerce, selling curated collections of upcycled, unisex clothing made from pre-owned garments, merging sustainability, affordability and uniqueness of product.
STEPHANIE MOSCALL-VAREY Course: MA Womenswear – the course broke down everything I thought I knew, stripped [me] of habit and rules to help me determine who I am as a designer. Project: PIT BROW AW20
Pit Brow AW20 is an anthropocentric comment on women in the mining industry, and innovative textiles that counteract our manufactured landscapes.