2 May 2017

Talented former Chesterfield College fashion student, April Spence, age 20, launched her new ethical and sustainable clothing company, Blue Oxen at a special event in the businesses new base in West Studios on Sheffield Road in Chesterfield last week.

The event showcased her bespoke and eye catching clothing collections to invited guests including representatives from the local fashion industry the mayor of Chesterfield, Councillor Steve Brunt, and Mayoress of Chesterfield, Mrs Jill Mannion-Brunt who congratulated April on her new venture. Guests were also treated to a dance performance and a chance to see the newly launched web site.

Her business idea came from a personal passion and the chance to explore sustainable fashion during her studies at college.

April sources materials that would otherwise end up in landfill, by using remnants or fabric she finds in charity shops and she also sources new materials that are created with the environment in mind. She designs and makes unique pieces of clothing for individual commissions which are a fusion of traditional and contemporary styles, with underlying African themes and inspiration.

She has planned and launched her business in just 4 months and says it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of former tutors, the staff and other tenants of West Studios who have helped her get her business off the ground.

April said:

“I didn’t want to go to university after I finished college and had always dreamt of owning my own business. It feels great to be making that happen here. West Studios is an ideal place for me to be creative, develop my business skills and see my idea come to fruition. My dream is to be a market leader in sustainable fashion.”

“Blue Oxen is all about sustainability with flair. I am creating exciting clothes that you can’t get on the high street. Eventually, when the business grows, I would like to be able to manufacture in some of the tribal communities which inspired my first collection of sustainable clothing as well as in the UK.”

To see more of April’s designs visit www.blueoxen.co.uk

Chesterfield College is a highly successful and vibrant college based in North Derbyshire with excellent pass rates and high student success levels.

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