Birmingham ballet student created clothing line to raise money for wildlife in Australia
Inspired by a school project, a Birmingham-based ballet student has created a clothing brand to raise money for a wildlife charity in Australia.
Lydia Brayshaw, 17, is a full-time ballet student training at Elmhurst Ballet School in Birmingham, the vocational school in association with Birmingham Royal Ballet.
In response to the devastating bushfires 10,000 miles away from her family home in Devon, Lydia has turned a school project into a business, LYDIA B, and is helping to raise funds for WIRES, the Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service in New South Wales, Australia.
It is estimated that over one billion creatures have perished in the bushfires since September 2019.
Designed by Lydia, the LYDIA B t-shirts show a kangaroo embracing a koala to symbolise the solidarity Lydia felt but couldn't express in words as she watched the news unfold.
“Despite being so far away from the disaster I felt I needed to do something," she said.
"In addition to my full-time ballet training at Elmhurst, I have always had an interest in fashion and design, especially sustainable clothing.
"I’m aware of the strain fast fashion is putting on the environment as the second largest polluter in the world, so when I first decided to create LYDIA B as part of a school Extended Project Qualification, I was determined it would be as green and ethical as possible.”
“The clothing is made from 100 per cent organic cotton and is world-certified to avoid sweatshops.
"We use Broadside Screen Printers in Exeter who hand print the designs onto the clothing using water based inks.
"LYDIA B uses zero plastic, and packaging is entirely recyclable and ocean friendly.”
For every t-shirt sold, £5 will be donated to WIRES who are now rescuing as many animals as possible and nursing them back to health.
Lydia added: “In addition to being a professional dancer when I graduate from school in 2021, I really hope LYDIA B continues to grow so it can make an even bigger impact on the environment and support more organisations such as WIRES.”
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