Alnwick student to share passion for slow fashion at Climate Action Day

Alnwick teenager Stella Fenwick has discovered something that makes her happy, allows her to run a small business and helps to address the climate crisis.

By Ian Smith
Friday, 8th October 2021, 12:01 pm
Alnwick fashion student Stella Fenwick.
Alnwick fashion student Stella Fenwick.

Stella has discovered ‘slow fashion’ which aims to counteract the culture of ‘fast fashion’ and encourages us to ‘buy less, choose well, make it last’.

And at a Climate Action Day at the Northumberland Hall in Alnwick on Saturday, October 23, she will be showcasing some of her work.

Stella specialises in crocheted items and uses donated or recycled fabrics.

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The Duchess’s Community High School pupil is self-taught, learning via online tutorials, and uses second-hand patterns or makes up designs herself.

“Using reclaimed materials is an important part of my process and I love to give them new life,” she explained. “Not only is it more eco-friendly, but it forces me to be more creative and leads to completely unique pieces.”

Although she had always been creative, recently achieving a grade 9 in GCSE Art, Stella first discovered crochet during lockdown.

She started with hats and smaller items such as coasters and gifts but soon moved on to making tops and other custom items.

She has since opened her own shop on Depop, ‘Curious Crochet’, and is going on to study at Newcastle College this September.

Stella’s biggest inspiration comes from 60s fashion, a time when crochet was at its height of popularity.

One of her most spectacular creations, a waistcoat which was commissioned by an American client to echo a piece worn by Paul McCartney, took around 10 hours to make with no pattern – Stella simply took inspiration from a photograph of the 60s icon and designed her own by eye.

“A lot of people starting small businesses and people want to know where their clothes are coming from, that it is ethical, and that items are unique,” says Stella. “Slow fashion lets people express themselves.”

Stella plans to turn her hand to ‘trash fashion’, using scraps of old clothes or plastic bags to create new items such as reusable shoppers. She also hopes to make “something unusual” in time for the Climate Action Day event where you can come and learn more about Curious Crochet and other sustainable fashion in our region.

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