Being a fashion design student during the pandemic was a challenge to say the least. We became designers from our bedrooms, attending drawing classes over zoom, creating and being inspired inside our four walls.
It is hard to say that I feel fully prepared going into my final year without the full tutoring and support that second year should have offered us. Though we all faced difficulties on our course, we were offered an invaluable range of experiences and projects for us to develop skills and did have the opportunity at the end of the year to finally bring some of our 2D work into 3D with the help of our tutors and technicians.
The added competition projects were exciting and offered prize money and internships as incentives. I have come to realise how crucial these internships are for aspiring designers, giving us real life experience and insight into the work that it takes to manage and build a fashion design brand. At Nottingham Trent University we were given access to contacts in order to find these internships for ourselves, to gain the industry experience that will be essential for finding a job in such a crowded industry.
I found my summer internship for THE HOUSE OF RADHA after seeing a talk given by Radha Singh, the CEO/Creative Director during the Creative Futures Event at Nottingham Trent University. This opportunity has given me an invaluable experience, especially after a year in which we could not learn as much as we would have done through in person teaching and collaboration. THE HOUSE OF RADHA is an exciting brand to work for and is unique in its take on a fashion brand. Not only is it a ‘Fashion House’ creating collections, it also embraces ‘House Music’ as part of the ethos by supporting and recognising talented DJ/Producers in the House & Techno music scene, promoting and marketing their music, events and collaborating on creative projects. The brand launched its own event MANTRA in 2019 that brings all the elements together: Fashion, Art and Music entertainment that offers students the opportunity to gain experience and employability skills working on a live creative event.
Radha Singh also gets involved with politics and is a member of the Parliamentary Society for the Arts, Fashion and Sports, Houses of Parliament. The role is to encourage young entrepreneurs to strike a balance and partnership between their craft, skills and UK politics. Radha is an advocate in supporting diversity and inclusion and embraces this in her life and through THE HOUSE OF RADHA. The Creative Director is also a Designer Member of the British Fashion Council and part of the BFC Diversity & Inclusion Sub Committee Steering Group, where she shares her expertise. THE HOUSE OF RADHA is continually aiming to tackle some of these issues that we see in fast fashion. The brand has a strong ethos in sustainable British manufacturing and making a positive foot print in the world. Radha sources local manufacturing process and workers from the UK, both to prevent C02 transport emissions caused by locating the manufacturing processes all over the world and also focussing on traceable and ethical manufacturing. Her garments are handmade and made to order ensuring no leftover waste from industry. It is encouraging to work for a brand which has similar key values to my own. It is crucial for our future to work towards a cleaner and more ethical fashion industry.
As a fashion designer going into the industry I can see how important it is for companies to be ethical throughout their design process. Modern day slavery and mistreatment of workers is still rife, with bigger popular brands such as Boohoo being accused of paying their workers only 29p an hour. This treatment is not uncommon and it is always shocking to realise how many brands get away with such poor treatment of their workers. As a student who is conscious of these problems, it is always inspiring to see brands such as THE HOUSE OF RADHA combatting these issues and putting worker welfare and other progressive values such as sustainability and size inclusivity at the forefront of their business.
THE HOUSE OF RADHA will be part of the Careers Fair taking place in October 2021 at NTU and will be a keynote speaker talking about her journey and the brand. The Creative Director will also be providing placement opportunities for students and graduates to join the team and work on creative projects.
The opportunities are open to Fashion & Design, Business and Marketing, PR & Communications and other creative fields. If you are interested then please email THE HOUSE OF RADHA on firstname.lastname@example.org with a CV and portfolio of your work.
Other links to THE HOUSE OF RADHA include Instagram at @thehouseofradha_ltd and @thehouseofradhaclothing, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, LinkedIn – thehouseofradha
By Katie Bearcroft
Image credit: The House