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Lou’s pre-loved fashion outfit takes pride of place in Cancer Research Wales shop window

The winning design in Cancer Research Wales’ Reimagined Fashion competition was unveiled today in Whitchurch, Cardiff

Launched in November 2023, ‘Reimagined Fashion’ is a Cancer Research Wales competition aimed at promoting sustainability and breathing new life into pre-loved garments.

It is based on the theme ‘Stripe a Pose’, because the charity’s logo is inspired by the striped DNA sequencing gels used by scientists to research cancer.

The outfit – created by Cardiff Metropolitan University student Lou Wild, is now on display at the Cancer Research Wales shop at 78A Tŷ’n-y-Pwll Road, Whitchurch in Cardiff.

Commenting Lorraine Boyd, Head of Retail at Cancer Research Wales said: “Well done to Lou on your fantastic design which we are very proud to have on display in our shop window in Whitchurch.

“Cancer Research Wales is the Welsh cancer research charity and we like to encourage and promote ethical and sustainable fashion through the sale of pre-loved clothing in our shops.

“Lou’s design is a powerful statement that we hope that it will encourage and inspire a new generation of fashion-conscious and aware consumers to buy pre-loved clothing.”

As well as being the winner of the Reimagined Fashion competition, Lou Wild has been named Cancer Research Wales’s Sustainable Fashion Ambassador.

“As part of our module, we were required to enter competitions, and our tutor Nick shared the Cancer Research Wales - Reimagined Fashion themed ‘Stripe a Pose’, as soon as I saw the brief I knew I had to enter. I am now a Cancer Research Wales Sustainable Fashion Ambassador as part of my prize is for my winning design to appear in the Cancer Research Wales shop window displays. I hope it inspires people to upcycle and repurpose.”

The unveiling marks the end of a challenging time for Lou, as her mother and partner – Jim, were both treated for cancer while she was studying for her degree at Cardiff School of Art and Design. Thankfully, both have now been given the all-clear.

“Shortly after I accepted my place at Cardiff School of Art and Design, my partner Jim was diagnosed with prostate cancer. My mum was still under oncology care at this point, and two of my favourite people going through this was heartbreaking. But Jim made me promise to take my place at uni. The best part is that both Jim and my Mum have now been given the all-clear, and that is the best graduation present I could have.”

Welcoming Lou’s success Nick Thomas, Lecturer in Fashion Design at Cardiff Metropolitan University, said:

“As a course, our curriculum seeks to embed person-centred and future-thinking design philosophies, with a focus on social and sustainable engagement, so when Cancer Research Wales reached out to discuss possible collaborations, we jumped at the chance to work with such a wonderful cause. Given the global environmental and social impact that fashion design has, we believe in helping students become change-makers, and to challenge industry norms."

“We are delighted that Lou's design has been recognised and will be showcased, not only inspiring the next generation of Welsh fashion designers but showing that anything 'old' can become something 'new'. Lou has worked incredibly hard throughout her degree, founding the Student Union Fashion Society, working with her peers to fundraise for Graduate Fashion Week in London and has thrown herself at every opportunity to engage in university life; she is a worthy winner!”

For more of Lou's designs, see here.