Meet Bethany Williams – a thirty year old fashion designer, with a big love for sustainability. The young woman is highly in demand for her creative solutions for the fashion industry’s biggest problems. With her eponymous brand she doesn’t only recycle and upcycle materials and clothes, she also provides work for society’s most vulnerable people. A typical example of how to use fashion as an force for change.
Cover photo: © Pexels
Get to know the woman who doesn’t fit the stereotypes of the fashion industry. At a usual day, Bethany Williams spends time unpacking fabrics and instructing people on how to unpick clothes. When you know unpicking a pair of jeans take up to one hour, you know that Williams finds a sense of calm in the process. Or at least she has to, making it the only way to stay sane during a working day.
During her BA at Brighton University, she started using denim. One day a week, she focused on textiles. After reading how art can have a political effect outside itself, she created a link with fashion. With a mom as pattern cutter, this link was easily created. At University, Williams built a gallery store selling upcycled items. She has always liked the idea of playing with the value of an object, something she’s learned during her studies. Upcycling a garment can give it a second life, providing a new value.
Force for change
Since then, Bethany Williams has used fashion as a force for change. The designer has always been doing voluntary work on the side and one day, she thought it was about time to merge these two worlds. Fashion could be used for a good cause as well, according to her. And that’s how everything started. She connected the creative industry and voluntary work by combining them into a film. You could say that a sense of injustice has always been driving this designer. Her talent and willingness to change the fashion industry didn’t stay unnoticed. Last year, she became a finalist in the LVMH Prize and was given the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design in February 2020.
For her latest spring collection, she’s cooperating with the Magpie Project – a charity supporting homeless mothers and their children in East-London. The charity created a safe space for those kids to play and to simply be a child. Williams loves to cooperate and raise awareness with her brand and will keep doing this for the rest of her life. AT least as long as possible. Her drive? “You can’t change things when you don’t see them“, as she told Vogue. And that’s exactly how it is.