On Thursday 21st April we officially launched The Dorcas Dress Project in Leicester! The manager and personal styling team at the John Lewis Leicester store were the hosts for our event where local factory and business owners, charity and council representatives and participating volunteers came together to mark the occasion.
We began the event at the personal styling station on the ground floor in womenswear. With a refreshing glass of bubbles in hand, the guests listened to a short introduction about the project from myself (Maria) and the store manager, followed by some great ideas from the personal styling team on how to wear the dress.
We later headed up to the second floor where students from the Fashion Styling and Communications course at De Montfort University had done a superb job of styling and photographing the dress to make an eye-catching visual display next to the lifts.
Find out more about John Lewis ethics and sustainability here.
Recognised by Leicester City Council
We were delighted to welcome Clr Clarke from Leicester City Council at the event who praised all partners involved, saying:
“This work is a perfect example of an organisation that believes in Leicester, bringing their amazing charitable initiative to our city. And we’re really delighted to welcome them here.
Teaming up with Denovo Apparel is something that has developed innovation, along with DMU. And John Lewis and Partners has been here to harness that ingenuity and creativity with integrity, which is really important.
So the new recycled polyester jersey dresses are a fantastic example, a metaphor that enables us to understand what we need to do to overcome big social and environmental challenges that we face.
That’s why I really wanted to be here today to welcome that. We’re not just celebrating a garment – I think it’s so much more than that. It actually helps to define the city we want to see in terms of our ethical and sustainability credentials.”
A city comes together
One of the most inspiring things about the event was seeing these different partners in Leicester engaged and united in their desire for a better city.
We hosted factory owners who want to do the best for employees and business owners who want to take their responsibility seriously. We welcomed students who have lent their talents, volunteers who are facilitating the project, charity representatives who see the wider problem and of course, John Lewis and Partners, as a leading retailer and household name.
Seeing people come together like this really does show that it’s often not the appetite for change that’s lacking, just the means to make it happen. We’re so hopeful and grateful that The Dorcas Dress Project can continue to be an inspiring catalyst for positive change.