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Tuesday 7 March 2017

The fashion industry can often be seen as a money-grabbing machine rarely involved in helping others. Solent University students were keen to break this stereotype and recently made strides to help people in poverty. During enrichment week, the BA Fashion Students had a unique opportunity to support a small charity called The Beatrice Project, which makes sanitary towels for women in Africa.

The Beatrice Project is run in the rural communities near Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, where a mix of cultural attitudes, poverty and lack of sanitary protection means that many girls are prevented from attending school while on their period. The charity helps to provide safe and affordable sanitary products, enabling girls to make the most of the educational opportunities available to them.

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We caught up with Zhane Quashie, a second-year fashion student who passionately spoke about the cause: “We really want to help. When we were told about this project we all signed up for it because we want every woman to have the same products that we have. Even though we’re making panties over and over again, it’s so much fun and the end result will be amazing.”

The volunteers had the option to purchase underwear from cheap retailers, however decided to hand-sew the pants to avoid buying products that could have potentially been made by young children in underprivileged countries. Fashion course leader Kathryn Sanders put it best: “Why would we buy them somewhere else…when we can make them at Solent Uni with love.”

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For a behind-the-scenes look at the pant-making process, you can watch the video below: