A first look at DUCFS 2019

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It’s that time of year again when we check in with the most recent generation of the DUCFS exec to find out what we can expect come February 2019. Palatinate Fashion spoke to President Pippa Tatton-Brown and other key members to get the finer details on what to look forward to both in the (extended run of) 2019 shows and their jam-packed campaign as we build up to the spring, and Durham’s most highly anticipated student event.

What is the President/ team’s collective vision for the 2019 show?

‘My primary focus when taking the position of President was to intertwine the charity and the creative vision in order to transform DUCFS into a true catalyst for change, a movement that leaves a lasting impact in the student and Durham community alike’ states Pippa Tatton-Brown. ‘DUCFS’s position as the largest student-fundraiser and student fashion show in the UK means we can no longer ignore the devastating impact of the fast-fashion industry on both people and planet. Fashion cannot empower some whilst it enslaves others, and no trend is worth the cost of our grandchildren’s future. By supporting an environmental charity alongside leading a creative vision focused on changing the social fabric through living sustainably, DUCFS this year is a call for individuals to consider the impacts of careless consumerism. Charity is more than the signing of a cheque, it requires a paradigm shift in attitudes and actions, which is hopefully what DUCFS will showcase this year through our campaigns, events and variety of creative outlets.’

How will DUCFS 2019 be different from or build on last year?

‘As the largest creative project in Durham, we wanted to DUCFS to reflect this in the breadth of mediums and events’ continues  Tatton-Brown. ‘Sustainability will be endorsed in every form, from all our promotional material being produced on recycled paper, the sole featuring of sustainable designers, down to innovative events such as our Clothes Swap on the 20th October. This year will also see the putting on of an arts showcase featuring Durham’s best poets, musicians and artists, a day long speaker series centring around sustainable fashion, and DUCFS’s first ever magazine. Oh, and to top it off, the main show will take place across three nights as opposed to two, meaning more can be included in what is set to be the best event of the year.’

How many people are on the exec? Have you expanded on previous years at all this year?

‘Our increasing focus on charity alongside creativity meant some new positions were necessary to ensuring DUCFS amounts to all we want it to be. This year our executive committee is made up of 25 passionate and hardworking student volunteers. Particularly integral new additions are the creation of a charity officer (who will also intersect as a welfare officer), an arts director, and a music director, to ensure every aspect of DUCFS is curated by somebody specialised in their field. Moreover, we’re also opening up options for Freshers to get involved as charity volunteers and events representatives.’

Tell us about this year’s chosen charity, their work, and what made you choose this particular charity?

‘We are so excited to be working with and for the Environmental Justice Foundation’ (EJF) this year’ Sasha Reviakin, Head of PR and Marketing, tells us. ‘As Pippa said, we acknowledge our responsibility as a fashion show to recognise the impact that the fast fashion industry has on both the planet and the people who work within it. That’s why this year we have partnered with EJF, who make the link between environmental issues and human rights abuses through their campaigns. In light of the recent IPCC report, it is clearer than ever that we need real change in policy, habits and attitudes to save our planet. EJF are at the forefront of environmental politics and the human element of their work really resonates with us. With an issue such as the environmental crisis we now face, it is very easy to dissociate exactly because it is so mammoth. EJF use film to produce hard-hitting reports about environmental and human rights abuses across the world. Through these films, they target decision makers and endeavour to change laws and policies for the greater good. This is such a cutting-edge, creative way to create change and engage people directly with the issues at hand.
They have work on a range of projects: protecting marine environments, biodiversity and livelihoods; securing international protection for climate change refugees; calling for an end to toxic pesticides; and eradicating the human and environmental abuses associated with White Gold to name just a few.
The creativity behind EJF is one of the reasons we are partnering with them. Not only do we want to raise money for the work they do, we want to raise awareness and encourage activism at every level of student life. Supporting such a pioneering charity is key to creating tangible change.’

What’s coming up this year? What should we be getting excited for?

‘The show is expanding to three nights this year, which is incredibly exciting. That’s the 31st-2nd February, but tickets will be going live mid-late November (quite soon, so get your table of 12 ready!) But it’s not just the show. More than ever this year we are a student movement as well as the biggest event in Durham. We’re committed to raising awareness and funds for the Environmental Justice Foundation.’ explains Reviakin. ‘We are hosting a series of pre-show events to this end. This ranges from club nights to a clothes swap to an arts showcase to a festival of sustainable fashion.
The event I’m most excited for is the clothes swap this Saturday. It’s a super easy concept but has such a big impact. One of the issues in the fast fashion industry is that there’s a linear market chain. Clothes are produced at huge environmental and human cost and then end up in a landfill by the end of the month. By reusing, recycling, swapping and sharing we can ‘close the loop’ on the fashion industry, and stop this massive waste. We’ve all got so many pieces we never use lying at the back of our wardrobe and so the clothes swap is also a really fun event where everyone can come along and rejuvenate their wardrobes in a sustainable way.
As well as our events, we’re producing a magazine this year and some beautiful sustainably-made T-shirts designed by our talented Creative Director Ilona Phillips. Those are coming soon, so keep your eyes peeled.
It’s so difficult to sum up everything we’ve got coming up because there are so many things to be excited for, so it’s so important for people to like us on Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with everything and also with how to get involved.’

Of course! So can you tell us how Durham students can get involved from now until the shows in February?

‘There are lots of different ways Durham students can get involved. Of course, there is the modelling. We’ll be hosting auditions on the 27th/28th October and 3rd/4th November, and are looking for a diverse range of expressive people who care about making a tangible difference. But there are other ways to get involved.
Part of making DUCFS an even larger catalyst for change is engaging in hands on volunteering. We’re promoting sustainability in all its forms so need a team of charity volunteers who will help us with community outreach projects, our charitable events and with spreading the word about EJF. We want to engage the whole Durham community and the student population beyond. There are so many committed environmentalists out there and we’d love to get them involved.

As the largest creative group in Durham, we’re also looking for creative people to contribute to DUCFS. This is a chance for any creatives, whether it’s art, poetry, photography, videography, make-up, or music, to get involved. We’re running an arts showcase later this term as well as producing our own DUCFS magazine. Featuring young creatives, particularly Durham students, is something very important to us.
Then, we are hosting a range of events which need events representatives. Their job is to make sure every event is not only a sell-out, but promoted as much as it deserves. After our sell-out club launch, the success has got to continue and a committed, personable and outgoing team of events reps is key.

I mean there you go- there are SO many different ways people can get involved. All they need to do is send us an email proving how they’d like to be involved and we’ll make it happen. We can’t wait to meet a host of committed students who care about student activism and making a difference.’

You haven’t released the theme yet, but can you give us a little creative teaser of what we can expect over the coming months?

Here, Vice President Creative Jemima Bunbury takes the helm. ‘In alignment with our charity, this year the theme will centre on the environment and in particular the threat of the fast-fashion industry. Much like last year when the theme followed a trajectory from ‘evolution’ to ‘revolution, the theme this year will have a narrative progression.
This allows us to include a wide range of designers and to explore a variety of mediums and photographic styles. But to give you a bit of an idea, expect to be seeing lots of monograms, movement, and highly edited photos this side of term, shifting to a more naturalistic approach towards the end of the show and our campaign.’

How will you balance raising awareness for your cause along with your creative vision?

‘Every individual has an environmental responsibility, and so it is particularly important that our support for this cause extends beyond a monetary donation’ believes Bunbury. ‘Aligning our creative vision with our goal of raising awareness within the Durham audience, we have chosen to challenge the environmental threat we are best placed to tackle: the fast-fashion industry.
‘Addressing these topics in creative and visual mediums throughout the show and its marketing campaign we hope to inspire thought and conversation around the topic of sustainable fashion and consumerism. There are a myriad of different ways to make sustainable consumer choices which don’t come at the expense of your fashion tastes (or your wallet). Things like the clothes swap we are organising this Saturday are brilliant sustainable ways to rejuvenate your wardrobe and close the
loop on the fashion industry.’

Do you think that sustainability and Fashion can go hand-in-hand?

‘Absolutely’, says Bunbury, ‘In fact I think that sustainable fashion consumption is predisposed to being more individualistic, creative, and expressive of one’s personal style. Trawling through Depop, charity shops or vintage shops are fantastic ways of shopping sustainably, and also one of the best ways to find truly individual pieces that you won’t see in every other shop window or on other people around campus.
‘A small amount of creativity can turn an old item of clothing otherwise destined for the bin into something totally new and wearable – and again the personality, history and individuality of up-cycled or altered clothing causes these items to stand out.
‘But even for those who prefer to buy first-hand clothing there are sustainable options. Firstly, the number of sustainable fashion brands is on the rise with offerings to suit people of all tastes. However, the most important factor in sustainable fashion consumption lies in a change of consumer attitudes.

‘The low pricing and constant sales discounts of the fast fashion industry has driven down the quality of clothing, but it has also driven down the mental value we ascribe to our purchases and style choices. Being selective and buying clothing that you really love instead of always seeking the lowest price-tag or the latest trend will inevitably lead to fewer regrettable purchases or unworn items. We all have a limited budget, and good style is as much about what you don’t buy as what you do. So be a bit more selective in your style, question your consumption and the motivation behind it in order to identify which items you really do love. In this way you are sure to curate a wardrobe of garments which best express your personal style, and nothing is more “fashionable” than that.’

Finally, what are you most excited about for DUCFS 2019?

‘The huge range of events that we have coming up, which everyone at Durham can engage with, and the potential this movement has for our and future generations’, concludes Reviakin.

It certainly seems to be an exciting, remarkably environmentally-conscious year ahead, and I look forward to seeing Durham’s most popular annual event make caring for our world on trend for 2019 (and beyond).

@ducfs

https://www.facebook.com/durhamucfs/

https://ejfoundation.org/

 

The DUCFS 2019 Exec Committee:

Pippa Tatton-Brown President
Hetty Hodgson Vice President Operations

Jemima Bunbury- Vice President Creative
Zoe Huggins- Treasurer
Celine Bradley- Logistics (Campaign)
Chiara Casareto- Logistics (Show)
Louise Watson- Venue Director
Ilona Phillips- Creative Director
Alastair Harris- Creative Director

Jack Dobson- Visuals Director/Videographer

Maddie Flisher- Photographer
Sasha Reviakin- Head of PR/Marketing
Alice Buchanan- Marketing
Liv Tomlinson- Social Media Director
Chloe Smith- Fashion Director
Frances Weston- Womenswear Director
Poppy Hawkes- Menswear Director
Yemi Greene- Events Director
Xan Copcoat- Events Director
James Yallop- Music Director
Phoebe Fenton- Arts Director
Scarlett Regan- Charity Officer
Angelica Andrews- Product Sponsorship
Will Hirtzel- Product Sponsorship
Jammy Jones- Financial Sponsorship
Andrea Wong- Financial Sponsorship

Photographs:  and Ilona Phillips

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