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Ribston Hall High School

Ribston HallHigh School

Ribston's First Sustainable Fashion Show Shines a Light on Change and Creativity at Ribston

Written By Anna Johny, Year 13

Photography By Rachel Downey, Year 13

Fast fashion is a major topic that is constantly being debated and heard about across the news. Its impact of damaging the planet and promoting the evils of consumerism influenced the Ribston school community to develop a project that focused on pupils’ creativity whilst stimulating change. With the incredible expertise of Mrs Finch (Head of Textiles) and the Eco Committee, students were given the opportunity to design and model garments made from recycled materials, producing a spectacular experience for the entire crowd.

This amazing showcase was a demonstration of Ribston’s community spirit. All the creative departments used their expertise in making this idea become a reality. From GCSE food students producing 300 bite size canopies in a variety of mouth-watering flavours, to the tech team and photographers ensuring each moment was captivating with light, sound and music. The show displayed all talents. The dedication from house and subject captains helped promote sustainability within our community as all the shows resources were eco-friendly. Decorations were crafted from recycled paper, appetisers and prosecco were organically sourced and raffle prizes further emphasised the theme of sustainability.

Top Model Coaching - Guidance and Glamour on the Runway
All models that participated received special guidance in modelling from Kai Babar, former Top Model UK 2022 winner. Her dedication to this event and professionalism was reflected in the overall success of this event. The specially constructed fashion runway enabled guests to see the beautifully crafted garments at all angles and models were able to express their love for fashion with confidence. The show was an opportunity for students across the school in all year groups interested in fashion to display their passion. For some this helped develop confidence in their work by stepping out of their comfort zone.

Judging the Future of Fashion: Esteemed Panel and the Deserving Winners
Contestants were judged by an amazing panel which included Jason Johns, course leader for Fashion Design at the University of Gloucestershire. Jenna Page, former Ribston student now working as Outreach Officer for Arts, Humanities and Education at the University of Gloucestershire. Finally, Nadiyaa Jaffer, who also studied at Ribston, and is now pursuing freelance/consultancy work. Her prints are currently in Jigsaw, and she runs an amazing Etsy business. Nadia also sells her captivating work at local companies such as Gloucester Services and recently featured on a Channel 4 documentary about her work.

Despite being incredibly tough to decide, the winners of the competition were undoubtedly deserving. Third place was awarded to Asmita Nandakumar, a Year 12 student who submitted an elegant black gown modelled by Mandipa Mafrakureva. Asmita is a new addition to the Ribston community and her participation illustrates how welcome everyone feels as soon as they get to Ribston. Second place went to Mei Lewis, a year 9 textiles student who crafted a patchwork dress she modelled herself. Finally, first place went to the extremely talented Tabitha Riley, who created a showstopping corseted top with trousers and sleeves embellished with ruffles modelled by herself. Special credits were awarded to Areeba Shahid in Year 9, who created a well-crafted outfit made from ties, and Kia Babar in Year 13, who created a stunning, tailored suit. Top model was awarded to Coco Swan Year 8, who wore a beautiful garment that she made herself.

Tabitha Riley's Sustainable Passion for Fashion
At the end of the show, the Tabitha Riley collection was presented to the audience to showcase her passion for sustainable textiles, which had grown over the years, and deserved special recognition. Tabitha began her textiles journey from a young age and aspires to study fashion designing at degree level. She described the journey as an ‘rewarding experience’.

An Ongoing Tradition: Plans for Future Sustainable Fashion Shows at Ribston
The evening was a mesmerising display of all talents here at Ribston. It was a huge success thanks to the site team for helping the event run smoothly, drama students who hosted an entertaining raffle and the PTA who provided refreshments. Great credit to Mrs Finch and the eco committee for their exceptional efforts in organising and leading the event in all aspects. Mrs Finch, curriculum lead for Art and Textiles design described the fashion show as ‘the highlight of my teaching career’, ending the night with a sense of accomplishment. In his closing speech Mr Waters said, ‘we hope this becomes an annual event here at Ribston’.