'Alpine chic' design wins top wool prize for UWE fashion graduate

Issue date: 12 October 2012

Eleanor Cox - Alpine Chic design

Eleanor Cox is jumping for joy as her prizewinning design for a stylish men's cardigan will be launched in Hackett stores nationwide as part of Wool Week 2012.

Eleanor, a Fashion and Textile Design graduate from UWE Bristol, says,

“The button front, shawl collar cardigan reflects an Alpine chic theme with its chunky and rich Aran style cable stitch and quilted faux suede elbow patches. The cabling design came from photos of tracks in the snow. The wool is 95 % pure wool and 5% cashmere, a very luxurious yarn with a great feel.

“I am thrilled that my design was chosen by such a prestigious brand and will be on sale from 15 October as part of Wool Week.”

Wool Week is run by the Campaign for Wool and takes place this year from October 15 – 21. Over 200 partners including wool weavers, spinners, fashion houses, department stores and designers celebrate the natural benefits of the wool fibre during Wool Week. The campaign points out that the natural, sustainable and highly technical abilities of wool offers fashion, interiors and the built environment many benefits compared with man-made fibres, as well as helping care for the planet.

One of the activities, the Wool School initiative, brings together retailers and fashion universities such as UWE Bristol, giving students the opportunity to design a wool-rich sweater for a top UK store. The best designs are chosen, developed, produced and launched to coincide with Wool Week. 5% of sales of the garments goes to a central fund to encourage fashion design development in the UK.

The Campaign for Wool was initiated in October 2008 by HRH the Prince of Wales, who saw the wool industry facing enormous and unprecedented challenges. The price of wool had plummeted to the point where farmers were being paid less for their sheep's fleeces than the cost of having them shorn. The campaign raises awareness of the many natural qualities of wool, encourages consumers to buy more wool and inspires designers and retailers to create and sell more wool-rich products, to have a positive effect on the global wool industry.

According to the campaign, the advantages of wool as a fabric are many – it is warmer in winter but cooler in summer, it holds its shape better than synthetics and is longer-lasting. It is also fully biodegradable – a garment made of 100% wool will, at the end of its very long life, biodegrade whereas synthetics can linger in landfill for years.

Eleanor continues, “I am currently working as a children's wear designer, and aim to continue progressing in the fashion industry, hopefully becoming a head of design one day.

“The best part of my course at UWE was being able to travel to India to study and be an intern. It helped me to be ready for industry, and learn to deal with different situations efficiently.”

Fashion lecturer Tracy Fitzgerald says, “We are so proud of Eleanor and are sure she has a great future in textile design. This is the second time her talent has been recognised - she has already received a bursary from the Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters, one of the historical City of London's livery companies.”

Editor's notes

For more information on studying Fashion and Fashion Textiles at UWE Bristol see

http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/students/careersandemployability/careers/occupationalresources/fashionandtextiles.aspxFor more information on the Campaign for Wool see http://www.campaignforwool.org/

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