Up-cycled cultural fashion ready for catwalk debut

Outfits that previously failed to find a loving home at a boutique Cardiff charity store are about to hit the catwalk after getting a complete revamp from talented creative industries learners.

For the fifth year running, aspiring designers from Coleg y Cymoedd have used their new-found skills to turn the clothes from the Oxfam Boutique Cardiff into a range of original ensembles, this year with an ‘East meets West’ theme.

Following the success of previous year’s events, the eye-catching handiwork will go on display during a fund-raising fashion show to be held at the college’s Nantgarw campus on Tuesday 15th December.

The event will be a joint enterprise between learners right across the college. Volunteers from the hairdressing and production arts make-up departments will prepare the models for the catwalk, music technology learners will provide the soundtrack and the whole event will be captured on film by digital media learners.

The garments and collection of accessories created by the learners was entirely constructed from fabric supplied by the Oxfam Boutique and other recycled materials and, which learners have up-cycled into upmarket cultural fashion pieces.

The continuing project aims to encourage learners to consider the ethical issues associated with the fashion industry. Moreover, the exhibition gave the talented learners ‘real world’ experience in the promotion, organisation and management of a large scale event.

Jessica Edwards, 18 from Llanbradach, an art and design learner at Coleg y Cymoedd, said “I have really enjoyed being part of this important project. It has been a great experience working on outfits for a real life brief, and it’s really exciting to think that our work will be on the catwalk and for sale to the public.

“The East and West cultural theme has been really interesting to work on and it has been fascinating to learn about the ethical considerations of the industries we want to go on to work in.”

Following their catwalk debut, the upcycled creations will return to the high profile Oxfam Boutique on St Mary’s Street, Cardiff to be sold in store, with all proceeds going to Oxfam.

Claire Samuel, manager of Oxfam Boutique Cardiff has said, “This is a fantastic collaboration, and a great opportunity to inform a younger generation of the great work being done by Oxfam nationally and worldwide. The work the learners created is excellent.

“It has made for a fantastic visual display in the Oxfam Boutique and engages the public with Oxfam’s mission to lift people from poverty. Many thanks to all the departments in Coleg y Cymoedd who made this possible.”

Alistair Aston, tutor at Coleg y Cymoedd, said: “Working with Oxfam Boutique is always a fantastic experience for our learners as it enables them to gain an understanding of the vital issues that Oxfam support as well as the preparation needed for large scale events and a commercial sale.

“They have worked with a real energy and enthusiasm, creating ‘East Meets West’ inspired garments, graphics and jewellery that will be exhibited during a catwalk show and retailed at Oxfam Boutique Cardiff. Working across disciplines and departments on a live brief has provided a real showcase for the talent that is being developed within Coleg y Cymoedd.”



Wellington Street
Rhondda Cynon Taff
CF44 8EN


Heol y Coleg
Parc Nantgarw
CF15 7QY


Rhondda Cynon Taff
CF40 2TQ

Ystrad Mynach

Twyn Road
Ystrad Mynach
CF82 7XR

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