Fashion graduate’s zero-waste 3D print collection showcased at London Fashion Week

19 February 2021

Sophie Parnaby’s innovative designs promote sustainability



A recent fashion graduate from Manchester Fashion Institute, at Manchester Metropolitan University, will showcase their innovative final-year collection that utilises 3D print and zero-waste technology to a global audience at London Fashion Week.

BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Technology graduate Sophie Parnaby was selected as one of six emerging designers to feature as part of the Graduate Fashion Foundation Digital Designer Profile during London Fashion Week (LFW), from February 19-23, in collaboration with Visualist, a new productivity suite for fashion creatives.

Parnaby’s collection Future Mythologies harnesses the environmental benefits of 3D print technology to create a sustainable alternative to embellishment production methods with zero waste.

This opportunity has been created by Graduate Fashion Foundation to help the six graduates to launch their brand to a global audience, develop relationships with renowned global stores and publications, begin building a network of future contacts and be part of a fashion week that is embracing emerging brands who are making a positive change in the industry.

The opportunity to be showcased at LFW follows on from Parnaby’s success at the Graduate Fashion Foundation Awards 2020, where she presented her collection to a panel of industry experts and took home the Considered Fashion Award and the Fashion Innovation Award.

Parnaby uses 3D print technology to create a sustainable alternative to embellishment production methods. (Graduate Fashion Foundation X Visualist: Photographed by Ashley Jang)

Parnaby said: “I was over the moon when I found out that I had been selected by the Graduate Fashion Foundation to feature as one of six designers on their London Fashion Week profile.

“It was incredibly exciting to receive this news because London Fashion Week is something that I have followed for many years, season to season or either helped out backstage at. To be able to bring my own collection to London Fashion Week this year makes it a really personal achievement and is such a privilege in these times.”

Parnaby interned for fashioner designer Julien Macdonald during her placement year and developed an understanding of how embellishments and bespoke pieces are produced. This experience influenced her interest in embellishment which developed further during her final year. 

She worked closely with Manchester Metropolitan University’s 3D printing hub, PrintCity, to learn how to use different types of 3D printers and their accompanying software. The team offered their expertise and advice to help her to experiment and develop with using 3D print technology to create embellishment with minimal waste.

Her intricately embellished pieces, including structural clothing and accessories, appear as if covered with fragments of jet-black glass. The pieces are delicately coated with feather like forms which organically merge into powerful silhouettes.

Parnaby uses zero waste methods alongside using responsible deadstock material sourcing and using alternative materials, including recycled bio plastics, to ensure all pieces are created with minimal environmental impact.

Her intricately embellished pieces appear as if covered with fragments of jet-black glass. (Graduate Fashion Foundation X Visualist: Photographed by Ashley Jang) 

Since graduating, Parnaby has been continuing to build her luxury clothing and accessories brand and creating new looks from her studio.

John Earnshaw, Senior Lecturer in Fashion Design and Technology at Manchester Fashion Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “Congratulations to Sophie on being selected to showcase her collection at London Fashion Week, this is a great achievement and is testament to her hard work and the innovative processes that she explored whilst studying here at Manchester Fashion Institute.

“Sophie’s award-winning designs promote a more sustainable industry and with the use of the University’s cutting-edge facilities and expertise, she has been able to develop ambitious concepts into fully resolved luxury garments that challenge current industry practice within womenswear. London Fashion Week is a fantastic platform for new exciting talent and we wish Sophie good luck with the coming fashion week and her future career in the industry!”

Parnaby also took part in a photoshoot and video creation to create digital designer content for LFW. She worked remotely with Graduate Fashion Foundation and Visualist’s creative team to direct and guide the styling of her collection. The videos showcasing the graduates’ collections can be viewed on LFW’s digital platform.

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