USW students win competition to design Team Wales leggings

The students’ leggings design will be worn by Team Wales Athletes at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

Commonwealth Games Wales and their partner, the University of South Wales worked with the Fashion Design course, running a competition for students to win the opportunity to design the leggings worn by Team Wales athletes at this summer’s games.

The final winners, Bethan Jones and Olivia Soady, are two final year Fashion Design students whose design focuses on sustainability, with the material used having been produced from various recycled material.

Stacey Grant-Canham, Fashion Lecturer, USW said “The designers who worked on this project are fully emersed in the industry from day one on the Fashion Design course here at USW, both taking advantage of our option of a year out in industry they have the commercial awareness and creativity underpinned with a strong knowledge of circularity for fashion. It’s a real winning combination, the fact they opted to collaborate is a testament to the holistic way they see their place in this global industry too.”

The winning designs were selected having tightly followed the brief, following consultations with the Team Wales Athletes Commission; ensuring the leggings were practical, the design had a strong ‘Welsh’ look and feel, and focused heavily on sustainability.

The two finalists produced a portfolio to such an exceptional standard, they were chosen as joint winners; and have been working collaboratively on bringing the design to life.

“Being able to work on this project with Team Wales is such an exciting opportunity for me and something which really aligns with my values as a person and as a designer.” Bethan Jones, USW Fashion Design Student

The competition winners are working alongside Onesta, an award-winning sustainable clothing brand, established in 2020 by Gabriella Diana with a mission to make a positive change and help reinvigorate the Welsh textiles industry.

Owner and founder of Onesta, Gabriella Diana said “We are proud to have been selected as the manufacturer of casual leggings for Team Wales designed in collaboration with students from University of South Wales. Manufacturing in Wales not only lowers the carbon footprint of our clothing, but also puts money back into our local economy, strengthening industry here in the UK, and providing skilled jobs to local people and graduates. Plus, we know all our garments are made by happy hands. Working on this project with Team Wales has been really exciting and we have loved being involved in developing sustainable sportswear for the Commonwealth Games.”

The leggings will be an official piece of the Team Wales kit for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games this summer.

‘’The partnership between Commonwealth Games Wales and USW has got stronger and stronger over the last few years, and it’s great that once again we can bring in young and talented individuals like Olivia and Beth to create something special for the team. We first did this competition with USW for the Gold Coast 2018 Games, and we’ve built on that success, and we can’t wait to see the athletes wear the finished design. It’s also important to thank Onesta, the sustainability clothing company who have produced the leggings – 2 Welsh designers with the leggings produced in Wales. The perfect combination!’’ Cathy Williams, Commonwealth Games Wales, Head of Engagement

Chris Jenkins, CEO, Commonwealth Games Wales added “Working alongside USW on such projects is really important for the organisation, not only does it provide a platform for young designers and university students to get a feel for the industry in the ‘real’ world, but for us, it opens up our support network to people who wouldn’t necessarily be drawn into sport. The Commonwealth Games is more than a sporting event – it’s an opportunity to bring in communities across the country and support Wales on a global platform. Congratulations to both designers and I’d like to thank USW and Onesta for all the hard work.”

Next month, Commonwealth Games Wales will be revealing the full Team Wales kit, so stay tuned, you won’t want to miss it!

You can follow the QBR journey across Team Wales socials on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @TeamWales