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Sustainable Fashion: Upcycling and Repair

Date Attendance Time Duration Course fee Location Action
24/10/22 – 26/10/22 Monday to Wednesday, during work hours 10.30 – 16.00 3 days £350 Penrhyn Road Book now
Pair of jeans being upcycled

Course information

Course description

Led by fashion designer Emily Tan (founder of 1800 Gallons), this course will introduce key ideas and approaches to sustainability in fashion, in theory and in practice. This is through a series of unique talks and practical workshops exploring upcycling, repair, and the lifecycle of a garment.

This course will suit both creatives and general consumers of fashion, providing important experience in approaching design through a sustainable lens. Participants will build their awareness by exploring and acknowledging ethical and environmental choices, in their own work and the wider world around them, and discussing the direction of the fashion industry with regards to the global climate future and respectful working practices.

A practical introduction into the world of upcycling and prolonging the lifecycle of pre-existing garments forms an integral part of the three days. Participants will work through the choices and responsibilities designers have at each stage of the design process, and learn how to approach the design development stage through draping and drawing.

This course is an exciting, forward-thinking, practical introduction into sustainable fashion, with an emphasis on utilising pre-existing materials to enhance your current approach to environmental, social and ethical areas within fashion.

This course is aimed at participants who are 16 or older, and suited to those with an interest in further work or study in fashion, or anyone who is looking for to explore sustainable practices in fashion and approaches to prolonging the lifecycle of a garment.

Course breakdown

  • Day 1 — Introduction to sustainability in a fashion context, as a holistic practice that encompasses all areas, and explore the lifecycle of a garment. Exploration of garment deconstruction techniques and draping.
  • Day 2 — Practical repair workshop, introducing techniques such as darning, embroidery, boro, sashimi, patching, etc. Application of repair techniques to a garment.
  • Day 3 — Construction of upcycled garments, and introduction to methods of documenting garments / made objects through both photography and drawing.

Course tutors

The course is taught by Emily Tan and Lydia Bolton.

Emily Tan is the founder of circular fashion label 1800 Gallons. She is a womenswear graduate of University of Westminster who has worked for brands such as Céline, Marc Jacobs and Rejina Pyo. 1800 Gallons uses a cyclical approach to challenge common fashion industry practices that dismiss environmental and social issues. It uses repurposed and deadstock textiles to produce garments with a commitment to long-term wear. Emily is a regular tutor on the Fashion & Costume pathway of KSA's Foundation Studies in Art & Design.

Lydia Bolton founded her namesake brand in 2019, using second-hand textiles from thrift stores, charity shops, second-hand online market places and flea markets. These are unpicked before being reconstructed by hand into bespoke designs. A wide variety of items are upcycled, including seersucker tablecloths and blankets as well as clothing. Zero waste is at the heart of Lydia's ethos. Through preventing textiles going to landfill, she aims to be a catalyst for change in the fashion industry.

What to bring

A basic list will be sent to you a week in advance of the course start date. All other materials are provided by Kingston School of Art (KSA).

Please contact us for further information and future dates of this course.

Booking information

We aim to be fully compliant with government health and safety guidelines whilst running short courses at Kingston University.

View the terms and conditions for booking a short course.


The standard course fee is indicated at the top of this page. If a course has any discounted fees available (e.g. for early-bird booking, alumni or students) these will be clearly outlined on the booking website.

As an educational institution fees for our open short courses do not attract VAT.


Directions to Penrhyn Road campus, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE:


Contact us

Short courses team
Kingston School of Art

Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 4066
Contact us

Contact us

Short courses team
Kingston School of Art

Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 4066
Contact us

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