Claudine Henry - Technical Coordinator: Garment Technology

What is your name?
Claudine Henry

What institution are you a student or staff member at?
University of the Arts London/ London College of Fashion

What is your role at the institution?
Technical Coordinator: Garment Technology, previously Specialist Technician (Teaching and Learning) MA FDT Womenswear

What drives you to champion sustainability?
I believe that we - (collectively) have an ethical responsibility to prepare and support students towards a sustainable journey within the fashion industry.

Our students are our future and are the advocates of change within the industry. We need to empower the next generation and equip them with the skills and knowledge to faces challenges through creative solutions. I am truly inspired by our students as much as I hope to inspire and influence others by championing sustainability.

What does an average day look like?
I manage a team of Garment Technology Specialist Technicians who work across various sites at London College of Fashion, UAL. I ensure that adequate resources are in place that contribute to the development and delivery of technical workshops delivered by technical staff to students across various disciplines.

What do you think are the most important things everyone in the UK can do to help contribute towards a more sustainable society? 
To show compassion to the way we treat each other, our planet and all that exist within it, our society would encompass more sustainable practices that would extend beyond our own needs.

We need to change mind-sets that believes the responsibility of change lies with of others and not ourselves.

If we look at our everyday lives we should see where we can adapt to make positive changes. We would be driven to share ideas, take action and collectively work together to adopt substantial changes that would contribute to a sustainable society.

What are your sustainability pet peeves?
The belief that sustainability is as separate entity and not a way of life.

What role do you think Universities and Colleges have in contributing towards sustainability?
It is essential for education to lead the way and nurture the minds of students.

Embed a sustainable curriculum, embody sustainable practices and policies.

What is one thing you wish you knew about sustainability when you were younger?
That sustainability had an impact on more than just our environment but is in tangent with our society and economy.

I had a simplistic view that is was the responsibility of our government to make changes not realising that we all have the responsibility to make changes as individuals.

Tell us something unusual about sustainability at your institution or organisation that other people might not know.
I am proud to say that I work with a community of staff who are passionate about embedding sustainable practices within their own discipline, even though sustainability is not part of their role. To them sustainability is a way of life and they share their knowledge with students and staff alike.

What opportunities and challenges have you experienced in your role in sustainability?
The best opportunities come with sharing ideas with staff, nurturing and inspiring students and seeing positive outcomes. The challenge is being able to put ideas into practice due to time constraints.

What do you hope sustainability in the UK looks like in 10 years’ time?
I dream of Utopia, everyone doing their best to support the needs of others. Living by more simpler means, as values change and we focus more on what is really important. Reconnecting with or true selves and becoming selfless in our actions.

Claudine was a finalist in the 2018 UK and Ireland Green Gown Awards in the Staff Sustainability Champion of the Year category. Find out more about her here.

Delivered by EAUC