Skip to main content
Bradford College

How Two Bradford College Students Are Crafting a Sustainable Future in Fashion

Bradford School of Art students specialising in Media Make-Up with Special Effects are championing sustainable practices in fashion and cosmetics with their involvement in BD is Lit’s “Fast, Fast, Slow”. 

As fast fashion companies peddle more faster, Bradford College students Leon Ivic and Ellie Dennis hit pause. These students worked with a theatre production company on a provocative popup fashion show spotlighting the dangers of fast fashion held at Bradford College. 

This event was part of Bradford Council’s BD is Lit Festival, a perfect bonfire night alternative celebrating local, national and international artists. Models walked across a raised platform made of wooden planks and supported at the base by bales of clothing bound for the global south. As each group of models walked down the platform, they stopped briefly to give a statement about their relationship to clothes and what they are doing to reduce consumption of fast fashion. 

leon ivic, a media makeup with special effects student, stood next to a board reading fast, fast, slow as well as the project being put on by bd is lit

Leon, a Level 6 Media Make-Up with Special Effects student, crafted biodegradable masks for some of the models. Dennis, a level 5 student studying the same subject, created striking make-up looks with eco-friendly cosmetic products. Together, they demonstrated how young creatives can use innovative approaches to drive change.

“There’s a lot of production being done, but a lot of it is plastic, a lot of it is just being thrown away,” Leon said about the waste in fashion and cosmetics. “While trying to design something pleasant to fit with the project, I looked into making sure we don’t just buy stuff for the sake of using it once.”

The show, aptly titled “Fast, Fast, Slow,” compelled audiences to consider the widespread effects of fast fashion. Presented by Commonwealth Theatre, the production brought together brilliant collaborators from Blackburn, Burnley, Accra and beyond. Together they shared honest stories about their own lives and clothes. This show helped reveal how clothes can make us feel incredible or inadequate, how they inform our everyday lives and limitless potential.   

“If you’re someone that’s never really thought about fashion as an art statement, I think you can definitely get inspired by this project,” Leon said. 

As Bradford College champions sustainability across disciplines, the students’ involvement show how the college turns their passion into careers and also educates them to be aware and caring of their environment.

ellie dennis, a media makeup with special effects student, stood next to a board reading fast, fast, slow as well as the project being put on by bd is lit

“I am keen on exploring ways to integrate eco-friendly methods into my craft ,” said Ellie, who worked backstage doing makeup applications for models on the go. 

“It’s definitely a learning curve to do all that in the dark backstage,” Dennis further talked about adapting to new challenges. But she relished the chance to expand her skills and contribute to a meaningful production. 

Ellie made a conscious decision to use eco-friendly cosmetic brands for the show. “In the cosmetics industry, many products are single-use due to hygiene concerns. Sustainable options, often made from materials like bamboo, are recyclable and more biodegradable, but they can be pricier,” she explained. Despite the challenge, Ellie remains committed to choosing brands that are sustainable and cruelty-free, reflecting her dedication to ethical makeup artistry.  

From designing durable masks to choosing reusable makeup containers, Leon and Ellie made sustainability paramount throughout their creative process. They demonstrate how young creatives can successfully combine innovation, aesthetics and ethics. 

Bradford College students, like Ellie and Leon, are leading the way in using creativity for good. This is especially inspiring for anyone thinking about studying Media Makeup with Special Effects or other art related courses. 

Our College offers diverse and industry relevant courses that will equip you for career opportunities in the arts and textile sector. Check out our prestigious School of Art or explore our free Saturday Art Club targeted at 13-16-year-olds within the Bradford District and beyond. 

What’s more? Book onto our next open day in March 2024.