Radka Blazickova, originally from Prague, is a 22-year-old Textiles for Fashion graduate from the University of Northampton.
For her debut catwalk collection for Graduate Fashion Week 2019, Radka used an uncommon material to create her pieces.
Blazickova used 3000 single-use plastic bottles to create her collection, which includes coats, a jacket, a gilet, a waistcoat and bags.
She used the bottle tops, labels, and even shredded up the actual bottles in order to create her waste-inspired looks.
We interviewed Radka about her time as an International Student, as well as her collection.
Why did you choose to study in the UK?
Because there are so many choices of study courses. I was always interested in fashion but there is not a lot of opportunities in the Czech Republic to study fashion. After I finished my A-levels I was deciding on what I can study and when I saw a chance to study fashion UK I was decided. Even I knew (almost) nothing, I was that passionate and I said to myself that I can do it. So I went to the UK, started the university and it was hard, because firstly I didn’t understand much and secondly I’ve never used sewing machines etc, but I spent all my evening in there to be able to catch up. After my first year, I was more or less on the same level as my classmates and I was used to working harder than others, so I continued doing that in the next years and I think that’s the reason of my success.
Why did you choose to make plastic single-use bottles the focus of your fashion line?
I was enjoyed working with leather in the past years, I enjoyed handmaking anything so I knew that in my final collection I’ll definitely use these skills (as my collection is 100% handmade). I love nature and I enjoy water sports, so you can imagine how much rubbish and plastic objects I’ve been seeing around. When it came to the decision on the topic I wanted to reuse at least some of this trash. I’ve been trying different techniques and different objects to create my own textiles, and I ended up using plastic bottles as they work perfectly and it is effective as well. I’ve been collecting bottles on the streets, collaborating with my friends, university members, and restaurants in Northampton to collect bottles. I’ve used 3000 bottles in total which shocked not just me but everyone around and I was happy when my friends told me they were surprised about the number of bottles.
What do you think of high street fashion?
I think it’s great to have something like that because it is affecting so many people because everyone is looking at the trends. So imagine if it was all sustainable: everyone would be looking to sustainable fashion as it would be in trend. The bigger issue is brands like Primark, New Look etc because people are using clothing from these brands sometimes just once and also the materials what they are using are making so much pollution to the environment during production.
How can we make our fashion more sustainable?
Firstly we don’t need as many clothes as we think. There are so many ways to reuse fabrics or repair old clothes. When buying we should look at the materials and it’s good to have some knowledge about fabric making in a pollution way. Charity shops are great as well or just simply think about the product, ‘do I rather get something cheap which would stand for a small amount of time or do I get staple good quality product which would stand forever?’ Also while washing of these cheap products we pollute our environment by emitting harmful substances into the water.
What advice do you have for other international students chasing their dreams?
Definitely, you can do much more than you think if you want! Don’t be afraid to go beyond the borders of your mind. If you have a passion for anything in the world go for it. Even if you’d have to do a job you don’t like just to be able to get money for something you have been dreaming about for a long time. It makes you feel confident, and you’ll be proud of yourself.