Loughborough Textiles student announced regional winner of the SDC International Design competition

The Society of Dyers and Colourists International Design Competition is renowned for bringing together students, researchers, industry professionals, and designers from around the world to give undergraduate students a platform to showcase their creativity and vision on an international scale.

Final year Textiles Innovation and Design student, Emily Butler has been awarded as the winner of the Midlands heat of the competition. Emily responded to the theme ‘Colour For Good – for Planet and People’ with her design ‘Finding the Unexpected Amongst the Living’.

The design explores rural British canals in the heart of Northwest England. Due to budgets being reduced each year the canals have become categorised as an eyesore within the natural landscape. ‘The Broken Typography’ design aims to highlight the contrast between the natural and man-made elements of the canal, reflecting the hidden beauty which normally would have been overlooked.

Emily Butler - Finding the Unexpected Amongst the Living

Society has become more aware of the textiles industry being one of the biggest polluters, so Emily has created a fully circular closed system using foraging methods. There is a soil-to-soil system which uses a mixture of fruits and unsightly vegetation from along canal paths. The result of this is the use of natural dyes and screen-printing pastes, which limits the usage of chemicals during the wetting and finishing process.

Using foraged fruit and vegetation that would have normally gone to waste, provides complete transparency to the consumer and traceability of the dyes used within the final design. This was at the heart of Emily’s final design.

Emily explains:

“I am grateful for my course tutors for nominating me for the Society of Dyers and Colourists International competition. I have found the overall experience really positive so far and it’s been an insightful experience being able to talk to industry experts about my project.

I am looking forward for the second stage of the competition in Bradford alongside the nominees from Leeds and London in the UK finals in May. I have always been passionate about colour and sustainability and receiving this award has confirmed to me that I want to explore this further within my future career after graduating this summer.”

Congratulations to Emily who will now join all the regional winners in the UK final on the 19th May, and if she is successful will then compete in the International Grand Final in November 2023.