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Davina Amajor is a BA (Hons) Fashion graduate who despite graduating in the middle of a pandemic, is now following her dream to create sustainable fashion.
While in her final year at Ravensbourne, Davina was awarded a place within SEEDS, Ravensbourne's Self Employment Entrepreneurship Diversity Scheme. SEEDS is designed to support the natural enterprise skills of Ravensbourne's dyslexic neurodivergent students and those from diverse backgrounds in setting up their own business or freelance career. Through the programme, she had the opportunity to work with sustainable fashion house, Raeburn and was mentored by the brand's head of design.
We chatted to Davina about how the SEEDS programme helped her follow her dreams and what she has been up to since graduation.
I studied BA (Hons) Fashion and graduated in 2020, during the first lockdown. It was pretty hectic trying to complete my third year during a global pandemic. Going from physically sewing and having access to studio spaces every day, to working in my living room with my laptop was a very tough transition!
For me, a massive benefit of being involved in SEEDS was that it made me really disciplined in terms of completing university and getting to a place I wanted to be in my career. I have to say, studying in lockdown was a mental challenge, and it was very hard to stay motivated and to not lose faith. SEEDS was a really positive influence and gave me the positive reinforcement and support that I crucially needed at that time.
I had a strong sense that I wanted to use the technical skills that I'd learnt on my degree course in a professional environment as soon as I had graduated. The SEEDS programme really pushed me to accomplish that. It motivated me to pursue what I knew I really wanted to be: a designer.
Yes, my mentor was the head of design within the brand, Raeburn. I also had some assistance from one of the designers. They both really helped me and gave me lots of constructive feedback. They taught me how to analyse my portfolio and showed me how to work with tech packs, which is a really crucial element of the design job – I had previously found tech packs quite challenging. With their guidance, I could apply what I learnt to real-life situations.
During the programme, my mentors invited me for a tour around the Raeburn studios. During my time at Raeburn I learnt so much about using sustainable fabrics – this was something that deeply inspires me. It showed me that everything has the potential for a new lease of life.
SEEDS has helped tremendously with pursuing my own career goals. It really helped me with the admin and the business side of things. I learnt about everything: from understanding bookkeeping tax, to the importance of networking, to how to engage an audience on social media and how to make myself stand out.
The programme has also helped me reach out to sustainable designers such as Christopher Raeburn as well as Bethany Williams; both designers have helped me develop a project I am currently working on inspired by the reinvention of tarpaulin.
If it wasn't for SEEDS, I would have graduated in lockdown feeling completely lost in terms of which way to turn next. Thanks to the SEEDS programme I could really turn my attitude around and start reaching for what I desired.
Through all the coaching I had with SEEDS, I was able to apply what I had learnt, and this gave me the confidence to reach out to the designer Bethany Williams. She was a designer that, while I was at university, I've always wanted to work with because our ethics and our beliefs aligned. A perfect job opportunity with the company arose – so I went for it, and I got it!
At Bethany Williams, I am product coordinator, so in the role I work closely with the production team. During the day I am responsible for making sure that the studio and garments are organised and have many fabrics at hand to experiment with. My job is very varied day-to-day; one day I could be styling for a shoot, the next I might be working with some textile patchwork, the next I could be attending an event – it's all very flexible, which I love.
Besides Bethany Williams, I’ve been able to spend time on developing projects for my own interests and aspirations. My own work explores the re-invention of design, with an aim to recover the functionality and value of worn, aged items and fabrics to prevent them from being disposed of. One key ethos of my work is to find function over form – my projects seek to explore unwanted materials in society and bring them to the forefront through manipulation and recreation and through the application of mix-mediums.
Upcycled bucket hat by Davina. Made with two old pillowcases and using reflective orange strips and utility pocket work.
Example of Davina's sustainable denim work modelled by Aaliyah Anais.
Explore more of Davina's work on her Instagram.
Ravensbourne University London
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