Bethany Williams is a pioneering British menswear designing committed to exploring social and environmental change within her work and working with marginalised parts of society to bring about positive change and social enterprise. The Spring/Summer 2018 collection “Women of Change” focusses of women’s rehabilitation, working closely with female prisoners and the San Patrignano drug and alcohol dependency program. In an interesting twist on the ongoing discourse around gender when a man buys a piece from the “Women for Change” collection the proceeds to go supporting some of society’s most vulnerable women. All materials sourced and created are 100% organic or recycled, even down to the buttons which are handmade in the Lake District by Jean Wildish who plants her own trees for the production of wooden buttons, and handmade in the UK and Italy. Bethany Williams will be available for sales during Paris Fashion Week at The London Showrooms.
Bethany Williams has worked with female offenders in prison on the jersey pieces from this season’s collection as part of the “Making for Change” program, a social enterprise set up jointly by London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London and the Ministry of Justice,providing skill and meaningful employment for serving and recently released offenders to help reintegrate them into society. Bethany works closely with the programme working with the women across textile development and educating on the design process and their role within the wider supply chain, teaching increasingly technical manufacturing techniques in order to prepare them as they will be fulfilling production for retail on this collection. 10% of profits will be donated to the “Making for Change” programme for machinery.
Bethany Williams also worked with San Patrignano in Rimini, Italy – an education and rehabilitation programme for people with drug and alcohol dependency that teaches traditional Italian craft and a sense of community. Producing high quality traditional crafts in furniture, weaving, leathers and many others, Bethany has developed this further creating bespoke hand-woven textiles from the recycled packaging materials found within the San Patrignano workshops. The availability of these materials inspired this collection with the waste “Attentionze” tape from the electrical department and recyled wine bottle packaging being woven into practical and durable new textiles to create outerwear and inspiring a print story through the range. A second print story was created through a collage of the responses of the women who physically worked on the textiles’ responses to what change means to them personally. 10% of profits will be donated to San Patrignano.
Knitwear has been created through Bethany Williams signature approach, taking recycled wool and denim from Kent and then hand knitting them through cottage industry on the Isle of Man where she grew up. Raw materials are sourced from Chris Carney Collections, a recycling and sorting facility where it does on the be washed, cut and unravelled before the hand knitting process. Other denim elements within the collection are sourced alongside this and unpicked before being reconstituted into new garments.
For the lookbook and campaign shoot Bethany Williams has collaborated with TIH Models, a new modelling agency suporting youth in London affected by homelessness, casting Khris McAllister and Mustapha, both homeless and unemployed in London. Working with a modelling agency that supports social change is an important message for Bethany who has been working with Shelter for the past 7 years outside of her work in design.