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Ulster University students have been putting their design skills to the test thanks to the Live Here Love Here Fashion Forever competition in partnership with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.

The competition, designed specifically for first year Ulster University Textile Art, Design and Fashion students, focuses on sustainable fashion and repurposing clothes instead of throwing them out and hitting the shops for a new outfit.

The students were tasked with the mission of repurposing clothes and giving pre-loved items of clothing a new lease of life. With approximately 27,700 tonnes of textiles being disposed of in Northern Ireland over the last 12 months there has never been a better time to learn about reimagining and repurposing your wardrobe- if you don’t wear it, don’t waste it!

Students had the choice of using different items of clothing or the fabric to design something completely new, or reusing yarns to create a knitted/crocheted garment, with the option of reworking the garment into a different/repurposed piece.

Throughout the competition students had the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the industry via webinars and presentations from Anna Schuster, Sustainable Fashion Designer and Redress Design Award finalist, Siobhan Purnell from Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, and Ulster University Alumna and Jump the Hedges founder Siofra Caherty.

Alison Gault, Belfast School of Art Senior Lecturer at Ulster University, spoke about the importance of the competition, saying:

“Fast fashion is an ever-growing issue for a number of reasons, including its carbon footprint and the negative impact it has on the environment. This competition was an opportunity for our students to focus on sustainability and put their creative skills to use, therefore embedding good ethical approaches into their individual practice. We were delighted by the creativity of our students who were able to transform old clothes and unwanted fabrics and yarns into completely new pieces.

“As industries such as fashion and textiles are seeking to adapt by bringing environmental solutions, it is important that students have the opportunity to learn at the design stage how to address the issues facing their chosen industry. Working together with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful is a stellar example of how we incorporate different means of learning and involve students in industry trends.”

The winner of the competition was Brooke Nixon and Anastacia McGivern and Karen Hegarty were runners up.

Brooke Nixon winner of the competition, shared their delight at their victory:

“The ‘Reimagine Design Competition’ provided me with the freedom to create supported by industry insight from experts currently working in the textiles and fashion industry. I was able to challenge the concept that ‘sustainability isn’t fashionable’, by transforming second hand garments into colour co-ordinating staple wardrobe pieces.”

Siobhan Purnell, Tackling Textiles Coordinator at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful commended the students’ efforts on reimagining their items of clothing, saying:

“It was a pleasure to be part of the judging for the competition. I really enjoyed seeing the creativity from all the students who took part and how they took old textiles and clothing and created something really special and wearable.

As a society we are throwing away more textiles and clothing than ever before. We overconsume and underuse our clothing. We need to fall back in love with the clothing we already have in our wardrobes and also take time to reuse, repair and reimagine our clothing. The students have really provided some great inspiration on what is possible and embracing Fashion Forever.

For tips and advice check out our @fashionforeverni Instagram page.”


Notes to Editors

*information sourced from Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful


Over 500 tonnes* dumped weekly across Northern Ireland

Nicola Fitzsimons   Mon 15 Feb 2021   updated: Tue 02 Mar 2021

Northern Ireland is a nation of fashion-conscious, style mavens but when it comes to the environment, we overconsume and underuse our clothing, with approximately 533 tonnes of clothing thrown out every single week.

Environmental charity, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful has launched a new campaign, in collaboration with Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), to tackle public behaviour and awareness around textile waste and encourage consumers to never put clothing in the bin.

Since December 2020 alone, Northern Ireland has disposed of approximately 27,700 tonnes of textiles – over half the weight of our much-loved Titanic ship - with many of these items still in perfect condition.

Most-concerningly, around 30% of the unwanted clothing and other textiles that are binned each year, approximately 8,300 tonnes, end up in landfill.*

Landfills are a costly burden for ratepayers but they also emit greenhouse gases which are harmful to the environment, and create other dangerous pollutants that negatively affect the health of those living nearby.

Furthermore, Northern Ireland’s landfills are in a vulnerable position, becoming closer and closer to full capacity, and as a result of this social issue, Live Here Love Here, a partnership between DAERA, Local Councils, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, has today launched its inaugural Fashion Forever campaign.

Forever Fashion urges consumers to never put their unwanted clothing in the bin and to consider more environmentally friendly alternatives when disposing of textiles.

Some of these options include:

• Reuse: One person’s trash is another’s treasure. Donating unwanted items to friends and family or charity shops, or shopping and selling preloved fashion through NI’s growing network of vintage shops or online through sites such Depop and Vinted, is a great way to avoid binning textiles while potentially making some money in the process. It’s also worth remembering that style always comes back around so hanging onto a few choice pieces could be a fashion-forward choice.

• Repair: Wear and tear doesn’t automatically mean the bin. Simple repairs to clothing like popping on a new button, removing or covering a stain, or mending a hole can prolong their life and bring many months if not years more enjoyment.

• Reimagine: Reimagine clothing by upcycling unflattering fashion items. Becoming creative with a sewing machine, either at home or engaging with a professional dressmaker, gives pieces that no longer fit a new lease of life.

If an item of clothing or textile is very worn and in an unusable condition, the message remains – never put it in the bin. Instead take this item to your local recycling centre when it becomes safe to do so.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, some of the suggested disposal options are not advised under Government restrictions, and as people continue to remain at home, the bin may seem like the easiest, safest option. With this in mind, Live Here Love Here is urging people to hold on to their unwanted items until they can be donated or upcycled.

Siobhan Purnell, Co-ordinator of the Fashion Forever campaign said: “Our Fashion Forever message is simple - never put your unwanted clothing in the bin. Remind yourself of the more environmentally-friendly, alternative options – reuse, repair and reimagine. Could someone use this jacket? Can I easily repair this hole? Can I sell this dress online?

“Fast and disposable fashion through its price and fast delivery propositioning makes it easy for people, particularly the younger generation, to buy lots of clothes. Buying lots of clothes perpetuates disposal and therefore there is an escalating trend of binning textiles.

“We want people to know that they can still enjoy fashion and shopping, but also that by making one small change and committing to never putting clothes in the bin, they can make a huge difference to our local environment. Remember that fashion can and should be forever.”

To find out more about Live Here Love Here’s Fashion Forever campaign visit @FashionForeverNI on Instagram or liveherelovehere.org

We’re Hiring!

---   Wed 21 Oct 2020   updated: Sun 23 Jan 2022

Live Here Love Here Manager

Hours: 30 to 37.5 per week

Permanent post subject to funding

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful is seeking a highly motivated, energetic and enthusiastic Live Here Love Here Manager to join our friendly staff team and deliver growth for this important Northern Ireland wide Programme.

Growing the scale and scope of the Live Here Love Here partnership will be your key focus; effecting measurable behaviour change and inspiring a movement of people taking positive local action for the environment will be just two of the challenges you are passionate about; securing new resources will come naturally to you.

You will be competent in staff, finance and project management and be able to deliver targets within budget and on time. You will be able to deal effectively with a demanding workload, build lasting external relationships and communicate effectively.

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful reserves the right to hold a reserve list, for a period of approximately 12 months, from this recruitment to fill similar roles which may arise.

Application close on Friday 30th October 2020 at 12 noon. Late applications will not be accepted.

Interviews will take place (via ZOOM) on Friday 6th November 2020.

Applications must be submitted to enquiries@keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org

Please note that CVs or cover notes are not accepted.

Please note: due to delays with postal service we ask that you submit your applications via e-mails. KNIB will not be held responsible for not receiving a postal application outside of the deadline.

For more information go to http://bit.ly/KNIBjobs

Competition closed Friday 11 September – with over £5,000 worth of prizes to be won

Local environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, has launched the ‘Creator Comp’ within the Power of Video Festival, offering budding enthusiasts the chance to show their videography skills, creativity and imagination by encouraging litterers to throw their rubbish in the bin rather than from their car window. Sponsored by McDonald’s UK the Creator Comp will raise awareness of the rise of litter on our streets and countryside during the Covid-19 pandemic and compel people to think before they litter.

The competition is part of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful’s Live Here Love Here campaign and is available to enter now, closing on 11 September 2020, with the winner being announced later that month. Entries can be made at www.powerofvideo.co.uk/creator-comp-2020

Nick Wichman from Portland, Oregon, was crowned the winner last year with his video based on why recycling is important to him, by finding items, sounds and footage that still have potential, and processing them into something new. Nick walked away with over £5,000 worth of high-tech prizes including a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and Video Assist, a Peak Design capture clip, Sennheiser audio gear and a 1-year free music license with Epidemic Sound plus much more.

Helen McFarlane, McDonald’s UK & Ireland Sustainability Consultant said:

“We are asking all aspiring creators to get busy to help tackle the increasing litter problem we see in our communities as we launch our Creator Competition in partnership with the Power of Video and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful. The competition, now in its third year, seeks to tackle the issue of people throwing rubbish from their cars and supports #LiveHereLoveHere and our own #GetintheBin campaign which was launched last month following research which revealed that 18-34 year olds were among the worst littering offenders in Northern Ireland. We therefore urge creators to be inventive in calling for young people particularly to take responsibility for their own rubbish and put it in a bin.”

Karina Robinson, Project Officer at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful commented:

“The Power of Video competition, gives us the opportunity to reach a whole new audience and raise awareness on waste - encouraging communities to continue to reduce, reuse and recycle during the pandemic; a crucial part of protecting our environment.

“Never before has there been a greater need for our work. Through a number of programmes, Live Here Love Here is designed to tackle environmental issues by empowering volunteers to work together to protect our planet and bring about positive change to our local communities.”

Live Here Love Here, a national partnership campaign supported by local councils, Northern Ireland Housing Executive and Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs, is aimed at promoting a community can-do attitude by improving environmental quality in Northern Ireland. The charity tackle issues such as plastic pollution, climate action and biodiversity recovery by encouraging volunteers to take practical action in their local communities.

Visit www.powerofvideo.co.uk/creator-comp-2020 to find out more.

Small Grants Scheme 2020

---   Thu 02 Jul 2020

The Live Here Love Here Small Grants Scheme is an incredible opportunity for local communities to apply for a grant between £500 to £5000 to improve their local environment.

The Small Grants Scheme is about encouraging practical, local action towards building more sustainable communities. The scheme will support volunteers to:

• Contribute to the development of civic pride within a community with a focus on environmental improvement.

• Encourage actions and projects that enable Pollution Solutions, Biodiversity Recovery and Climate Action.

• Enhance the environmental management of a local area.

• Improve the health and wellbeing of communities whilst helping to improve and/or maintain public spaces.

• Improve the quality of their local environment by reducing littering and dog fouling through effective and innovative means.

In light of COVID-19, the Live Here Love Here Small Grants Scheme will make available funding to community groups enabling them to respond according to local need for people impacted through reduced contact with society.

Where people and organisations have solutions or ideas, we want to hear from them. An additional criteria has therefore been added to the Live Here Love Here Small Grants Scheme this year:

• Support actions that help care for those in need as a result of COVID-19.

A range of much needed community help that could be supported under this new criterion including, but not limited to:

• Emerging issues in the community as a result of the continuing threat of COVID-19.

• Grow Your Own projects and materials (supplemented by online webinars/classes for e.g. on seed collection, seasonal food growing and maintenance, cookery, foraging etc.) to encourage new skills development, extend virtual environmental education opportunities to the wider community and to provide positive interventions to tackle loneliness and isolation in response to COVID-19.

• Applications welcome from newly formed COVID-19 action groups to act as a community hub and to distribute growing kits to families/individuals in the wider community.

Follow the link below for more information and to complete the online form! We've also got case studies, FAQs, guidance notes and our webinar for you to have watch and read through. This is certainly a different year but we will be here as support throughout the application process as always.

Read the full article here: https://mailchi.mp/liveherelovehere/small-grants-scheme-2020

Hello everyone! A lot has changed since our last newsletter. The world is changing very rapidly and you may be feeling anxious, worried and sad. We wanted to take this opportunity to focus on the positives in this difficult time.

As we said on Facebook earlier in the week, the current Covid-19 situation is a worry on everyone’s minds and with 24 hour social media it's difficult to know what is real or fake news. Steadily though we are seeing an increase in good news - from home-workout videos and dad's trying their hand at TikTok videos to tips for keeping the kids amused (we're loving these fun ideas from Northern Ireland Forest School!) and this delightful couple keeping their spirits high with music and dance.

We are also heartened by the massive community spirit that has ripped its way through our towns and cities. Every day, people are rolling up their sleeves and helping where they can. If you know of any community heroes that you would like to celebrate or if you would like to share any support for communities in your area please email Karina at Karina.Robinson@keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org, tag us on Facebook: @liveherelovehere, Twitter:@isupportlhlh and Instagram: @livehere.lovehere or click the button below. There are many platforms out there already sharing the great work but if we can help spread the messages just let us know.

However, before we start on all things positive, we do have some bittersweet news to share with you. Unfortunately, Jodie, our Live Here Love Here Manager has moved on to pastures new as the new Northern Ireland Fundraising Manager for Macmillan Cancer Support! Jodie has been a shining light these past 3 and a half years, guiding the team and overseeing the blossoming of Live Here Love Here. We will miss her very much but very excited for the next stage of her journey. Maybe some of you will be organising a coffee morning fundraiser to bring our communities together when this is over?

Read the full article here: https://mailchi.mp/liveherelovehere/march2020

Hi folks,

It’s a strange and uncertain time we are living in – the current COVID-19 outbreak is a worry on everyone’s minds and with 24 hour social media and news there seems to be no getting away from it. We understand that you may be feeling anxious, it is a natural response as it has the potential to effect those closest to us. But we are also heartened by the number of you who want to roll up your sleeves and help. So we want to update you on our response to Covid-19.

Read the full article here: https://mailchi.mp/keepnorthernirelandbeautiful/notsobigspringclean-keep-safe-and-well-during-covid-19

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Big Spring Clean Guidance (released Friday 13th March 2020)

Read the update here: https://mailchi.mp/keepnorthernirelandbeautiful/big-spring-clean-guidance-coronavirus-covid-19

The Big Spring Clean supports communities to come together and support their local community through practical environmental action. However, we also want you stay safe during your clean up.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, we want to make sure that Big Spring Clean volunteers take extra hygiene precautions to prevent the spread of this, or any other, preventable illness.

DO NOT attend a clean up if you feel unwell or are showing cold or flu like symptoms, stay home to protect yourself and others.

Live Here Love Here asks that you undertake your clean-up events in line with the advice being issued by the Public Health Agency. In particular, participants are asked to use the following guidelines:

Do not pick up any litter with your hands.

Avoid contact with your face, particularly your nose, mouth and eyes.

Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds before and after your event.

Event organisers are advised to provide hand sanitiser for participants where possible or sign post to accessible hand washing facilities.

Stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people whenever possible.

We want everyone to play their part in the Big Spring Clean but it is really important that everyone follows these steps and takes extra precautions at this time.

We would ask that you continue to follow the relevant government websites for the most up to date advice.

Please continue to consult our Hints and Tips booklet for general clean up advice.

January 2020 Newsletter

---   Thu 02 Jul 2020

Hello and welcome to our first newsletter of 2020!

We hope you had a good Christmas and New Year and are ready for the year ahead. In our Christmas edition we had mentioned our top tips for a sustainable Christmas.

We'd love to know how you got on and if you've any top tips to share with us! In this edition we've information on our Small Grants Scheme and Information Sessions, BIG Spring Clean and some events from us and our friends to get involved in!

Read more at: https://mailchi.mp/liveherelovehere/january2020

Good News November

---   Thu 02 Jul 2020

Hello friend,

The Christmas rush has started! This time of year can be a bit hectic and it can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of it all. So why not grab a cuppa, take a minute and have a read though some of our good news.

In this edition, we've lots of exciting news including the launch of our GIFs, some events and opportunities for you to get involved in and of course, our Litter Heroes of the Month!

From Jodie, Nicola, Karina and Ciara

Read more at: https://mailchi.mp/keepnorthernirelandbeautiful/good-news-november