Jayne Barne, 35, decided to return to University to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a Fashion Designer - and completed her BA (Hons) Fashion Design degree even with the added challenge of giving birth to her third child in the Summer before her final year. Upon graduating in 2018, a dress from her collection was worn by fashion commentator and icon Caryn Franklin MBE at Graduate Fashion Week who called Jayne a “future visionary” of the fashion world…
“From a young age I would sketch dresses and dream of making my own clothes one day, however I left school and found myself in office jobs - I was bored but I thought that was the norm for most people.
I met my husband at 21 and by 30 I had two beautiful sons. My husband and I were running a used car business together and my life was all about my family.
When both my boys were in full time school, I realised that if I didn’t follow my dream of studying Fashion Design, it would be a lifelong regret. My husband and I decided to close the business to allow me to focus on my dream, whilst still being there for the family."
Balancing family life with studying
"Balancing family life and my studies was a big challenge, but I loved studying as I had a huge passion for fashion design.
Towards the end of my second year we had the biggest surprise of all - I was pregnant with my third baby. Haris was born during the summer holidays on the 26th July 2017. We were elated as a family but we all knew I couldn't stop studying now. I had studied hard so far, so as a family we decided I would go straight back into third year and complete my degree, this came with big sacrifices and not just to me. My husband and mother were behind me 100%. They make sure our home life was as normal as possible for the children, leaving me to focus on my studies.
The final year was incredibly challenging but my lecturers have been so supportive and have helped me to work around my family. Haris would usually come into uni with me whilst I'd have tutorials or just to catch up with my lecturers. I really couldn't have completed my studies without their support - they have been amazing!"
My final collection
My final collection has been inspired by my late grandmother, Eugenia - she would turn whatever she had into something beautifully useable. I have solely focused on sustainable design for my final collection, only using pre and post consumer waste. I have repurposed bicycle inner tubes to create new textiles that can be used in every day garments that are aesthetically appealing. I wanted to show through my designs that using waste materials can create luxuriously beautiful garments.
As part of the final year, we showcased our work at Graduate Fashion Week and I was thrilled to be a national finalist for the Dame Vivienne Westwood Sustainable and Ethical award. I was even more thrilled when Caryn Franklin MBE chose to wear one of my dresses to present at the Graduate Fashion Week Awards Night and called me a ‘future visionary” on Instagram.
The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world so my dream is to make a difference by creating sustainable fashion that consumers will love. If consumers buy into sustainable and ethical fashion we can make a change to the industry.
I’m excited for the future to see where it will take me next!