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Educating fashion students on sustainability: Polytechnic University of Madrid, H&M continue collaboration

By Alicia Reyes Sarmiento


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From left to right, looks by: Claudia Morales, César Equisoain and Silvia Martín. Credits: Image courtesy of CSDMM/H&M

The school of fashion design of Madrid (CSDMM) at the Polytechnic University of Madrid has partnered with H&M for the third consecutive year in launching a programme to promote sustainable fashion. This initiative offers students the chance to develop relevant skills and contribute to positive change in the fashion industry.

Under the guidance of designer Juan Vidal, this edition also featured participation from Habey Club, a brand rooted in slow fashion, focusing on revisiting craftsmanship and traditional techniques.

The primary purpose of this initiative is to foster education in sustainability principles, incorporating both design and marketing, which are essential for preparing future generations of fashion industry designers.

“We're raising the bar”

Juan Vidal has expressed positive feedback in a statement about the progress made since the program's inception three years ago. “In this third edition, we're raising the bar; the projects are increasingly interesting and competition among students is growing, which is always positive because it creates a very rewarding work environment.”

Meanwhile, Nuria Ramírez, H&M's director of sustainability for Spain and Portugal, has emphasized the importance of students incorporating circular design principles that promote extending the lifespan and recyclability of garments.

For the creators of Habey Club, David Salvador and Javier Zunzunegui, participating in this project has been a very rewarding experience. Through the programme, they have been able to enrich the curriculum, pose challenges to students, and motivate them to give their best, exploring different textile techniques and fostering creativity.

Claudia Morales Díaz, César Equisoain Casanova, and Silvia Martín, Winners of the First Phase

In the program's first phase, students transformed previous H&M collection garments through upcycling techniques and presented their pieces to a panel of experts, which included Nuria Ramírez, designer Ernesto Naranjo, and Victoria Vásquez and Mercedes Rodríguez, professors at CSDMM-UPM.

The winners of this phase were Claudia Morales Díaz, who presented 'Treatment', a collection that brings together art and social awareness. César Equisoain Casanova, who presented her own project 'Dasein' focused on creative space and personal empowerment. Finally, student Silvia Martín created a collection inspired by the idea that everything can be art, emphasizing the revaluation of everyday objects.

This article was originally published on FashionUnited.ES. Translation and edit from Spanish into English by Veerle Versteeg.

Polytechnic University of Madrid