Have you heard about the exciting transformation that has happened to the old Wadhams/Topshop building in the centre of Newport? 

It’s become Platform One’s new creative space for a university degree course in Sustainable Fashion, validated by the University of Chichester, and one of the few places in the world offering such a course.

P1 Wadhams has welcomed ten degree students in its inaugural year, plus post-16 BTEC students. 

I am one of the new degree students, and I can't believe this opportunity has opened up for me, right here on the Isle of Wight where I grew up. 

Isle of Wight County Press: Platform One Creative Education fashion students

Us students get to be at the forefront of the world's ever-evolving fashion industry, and most importantly, at a time where sustainability is essential. 

The most exciting part for me, is getting my hands on the most amazing industrial sewing machines, now in place in the degree studio. We've already been learning how to use these, and I can’t wait to start our garment constructions.

Everything we make throughout our entire course will be from recycled, pre-loved garments and fabrics. We will only use virgin/raw materials, if we can track their origins and be sure that the people and places they come from are sustainable.  This ethos will set us apart from other design courses.

Isle of Wight County Press: Dressmaking mannequins all lined up ready

Over the next few months, we will be creating stock for our upcoming retail space which we are hoping to open to the public early next year. 

We will be able to share our re-constructed, sustainable fashion garments for the public to purchase, and people can take an interest in what we have been up to on our course if they’d like to.

Reaching out to the community

As we can only use pre-loved textiles, we are reaching out to the community in the hopes we can find contacts within the fashion industry, that may provide us with their waste materials, and deadstock. 

We are looking for any luxury textiles, and are appealing to members of the public who may have old fabrics, garments and haberdashery that they would like to donate. We are looking for high quality embroidered or lace linens, pure cottons, tailored blazers, petticoats, tartans/plaids and luxury silks.

We aren't looking for your old fast fashion garments or any polyester, as unfortunately they have a bad impact on our environment and we won't be able to rework them into a long-lasting new garments

Isle of Wight County Press: The former TopShop/Wadhams building in Newport, inside and outPlatform One Creative Education

How to find out more

We have an open evening on Thursday, November 16, 5pm to 8pm, where we will be taking kind donations of these specific textiles and showing off our amazing building. To book a place, email serena@platformone.org

Fashion experts at he helm

Head of sustainable fashion at Platform One is Hannah Woodford, who has been working incredibly hard to make this course as amazing as possible for us all, along with Karen Harverson, head of Post 16.

We have been lucky enough to already work with them both throughout our earlier Fashion and Textiles BTEC courses.

We also have Serena Copping, our amazing technician, who has worked with the likes of Victoria Beckham and Roksanda.

Us students are very lucky to have such a great team.

Isle of Wight County Press: Head of sustainable fashion, Hannah WoodfordHead of sustainable fashion, Hannah Woodford (Image: Platform One)

Our ultimate aim is to do our part in reducing the impact fashion, particularly fast fashion, has on the world we live in. Every small change leads to an overall big change.

Wearing mended clothes and pre-loved clothes will be fashionable! We are determined to make it so!