DMU fashion students hope to create a future business as a sustainable solution to denim waste
By Lara Alsaid
De Montfort University (DMU) Fashion Buying with Marketing students have been given a project in their business entrepreneur module where they must design an original product or service within fashion.
Second year students Gemma MacMillan and Sian Norris designed a business called “Denim Days” that works on the principle of upcycling denim, where they would repair, re-make and re-sell denim wear.
Gemma said:” We value that people would consider sustainability.”
The assignment was given at the beginning of 2022 and since then Gemma and Sian have come a long way with developing their idea of business.
They started off by doing research to make sure it would be profitable and that there would be a need for the product in society.
Later on, they did surveys to sense how people deal with their unusable clothes.
For decades, the popularity of denim never died out – denim has always been popular in the market.
The motivation to create a sustainable business comes from previous experiences where Sian had worked in charity shops and had seen loads of product donations and waste which made her more passionate about sustainability.
Gemma had also worked in a charity shop and is very active on the second-hand app Depop where she sells and buys most of her clothes.
Gemma explained: “I do not like things sitting in my wardrobe and I needed to make money, so I became a regular user of the second-hand app.”
Hypothetically, the launch of the business would be in September, to take place in the annual Freshers’ Fair and would be advertised on the DMU campus, as young adults and students are their target market.
The younger generation who are becoming more educated about sustainability and the importance of it are the target audience for this idea.
Denim Days’ market plan is to be active on social media to expand the business and make use of algorithms.
They believe that this idea could come to life but the biggest challenges it could face are that production will take a long time and bigger businesses could notice and copy the idea.
Another challenge is that fast fashion is more affordable and convenient and so people may choose to replace their clothing instead of sending them to get fixed by businesses such as Denim Days.
The recognition of sustainable alternatives is constantly increasing and improving and the pair hope to see businesses such as their proposal come to life in the near future.