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Bracknell and Wokingham College alumna wins Graduate award in Drapers Sustainable Fashion Awards 2020

A former art and design student from Bracknell and Wokingham College has received an award from Drapers magazine and has had her garments featured in the magazine.

19 August 2020


A former art and design student from Bracknell and Wokingham College has received an award from Drapers magazine and has had her garments featured in the magazine. 

Rebecca Powell who previously studied a Level 3 Diploma in Art and Design and AS Level Photography at the Church Road campus won the Graduate Award in the Drapers Sustainable Fashion Awards 2020. 

Rebecca, who has recently graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a degree in Fashion and Textiles Design, entered after she was told about the award by one her lecturers as sustainably was the focus of her final year collection.  

Her gender-neutral collection based on fishing workers’ clothing was made entirely from second hand and sustainably sourced material and highlights the issue of ocean pollution. 

To enter, she provided Drapers magazine with a written statement about her collection detailing what materials she had used the challenges that she had to overcome. She also submitted a selection of photographs of her collection.   

Rebecca approached Bracknell and Wokingham College and asked them to collaborate on a photoshoot as she felt that it would be beneficial to herself and the photography students. 


Shanjida Begum, who has just completed a Level 3 Diploma in Photography at the college, photographed the garments and was pleased to have her work featured in Drapers magazine.  

She said: “This shoot was perfect for me! I am very interested in fashion photography and will be studying it further at university.  

“I have always wanted to do a fashion shoot based on sustainable fashion and recycled materials.  

“I loved working with Rebecca, and I will always remember this particular shoot as it felt like my first proper photography job!” 

Drapers held a week-long online celebration to mark the awards as the original ceremony had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The winners were announced on 6 July on their website.  

Rebecca had an article featured on their online report and in their special edition printed magazine commemorating the awards. She received a certificate saying that five trees have been planted in Greater Manchester in her name in light of the award. 

Rebecca Powell, 21, from Binfield, said: “I am very shocked but really pleased to have won this award. I am glad that sustainability is becoming a big deal and I am very proud that my collection has helped to get the message to a wider audience.” 

Jan Allen, Visual Arts and Design Lecturer at Activate Learning, previously taught Rebecca when she studied at the college. 

She said: “I am really pleased that Rebecca has won this award. I taught Rebecca during her time at college, she was a quiet student, with excellent attendance and totally focussed on a career in fashion, her personal units were all aimed at that specialism.  

“She produced some very innovative and inspiring work, and I am glad that her talent has been recognised in Drapers magazine.”  

Rebecca is pursuing freelance opportunities and planning to set up her own sustainable label. Shanjida is going on to study Fashion Photography at Southampton Solent University. 

Find out more about the visual art and design courses that are available to study at Bracknell and Wokingham College and other Activate Learning colleges or contact us on 0800 612 6008.