A Dundee-based Masters’ student has designed a clothing range that aims to help homeless people sleeping rough.
Heriot-Watt School of Textiles and Design student Callum Donnan, 25, began this venture as part of his degree. “The Homely Pack” includes a range of multi functional garments designed to protect homeless people from the elements.
Mr Donnan teamed up with Edinburgh’s Social Bite charity to do research for his project. In doing so, he spoke with people on the street to learn first hand about their needs and experiences.
He said: “The main feedback I got was the importance of warmth, shelter, and waterproof materials.
“From this, I came up with my concepts.”
As part of his venture, Mr Donnan created a jacket that turns into a tent, a bag that can become a groundsheet and a unisuit. He designed the garments to fit people of a range of sizes.
In designing these new garments, an emphasis was placed on the items being fit for re-purpose. If, for example, a homeless person finds accommodation, they are able to pass on their garments to someone else who may need them.
Mr Donnan also worked alongside Dundee-based Halley Stevensons, which manufactures waxed cotton and weatherproofed fabric. The manufacturer provides Mr Donnan with recyclable materials for his collection.
Dorothy Arnott, marketing manager at Halley Stevensons, said: “As a company, Halley Stevensons are happy to support students each year as we feel it’s an investment into our industry – they are the designers of the future.
“We particularly felt that Callum’s idea was interesting and demonstrated an innovative thought process to tackle a very real issue.”
Mr Donnan’s original idea was to go to festivals and create his garments from used tents. However, on realising it would not be feasible, he decided to work with Halley Stevensons.
As an added bonus, the garments are distributed to homeless at no cost to the recipients. Mr Donnan said it is the people living on the streets who make them for themselves.
He added this “gives them a sense of purpose and a reason to get up in the morning.”
In terms of the future of Mr Donnan’s endeavour, he said there have not yet been discussions with Halley Stevensons about working with them in the future. However, he added: “I would not refuse to work with them again if something else came about as their fabric is beautiful to work with.”
Halley Stevensons said they would be “happy to help Callum” with fabrics and the like in future.
Mr Donnan’s collection will be showcased at Heriot-Watt School of Textiles and Design Masters Degree Show on Saturday August 24.