Kwantlen and Lululemon create sustainable partnership


Lululemon swimsuit project Swimsuits designed by Kwantlen Fashion Design degree students (from left to right): Ming Peng, Jennifer Lynch and Calli Birch.

September 26, 2007

RICHMOND , B.C.)  KwantlenUniversityCollege and Lululemon Athletica completed their first joint design project‹the design and creation of sustainable swimsuits by Kwantlen's Fashion Design degree students.

Lululemon awarded three students with scholarships for the most successful swimsuit design. $1,000 was split between the three winners. The recipients were Calli Birch (Tsawwassen), Jennifer Lynch (Sechelt) and Ming Peng (Vancouver).  

"This project was beneficial to both parties," said Mary Boni, Kwantlen fashion program coordinator. "It allowed Lululemon to inspire young designers to think about sustainability and enabled Kwantlen to engage its students in a realistic industry project."

The project involved designing and producing athletic swimsuits out of scraps made from Lululemon's patented Luon fabric. Lululemon provided the fabric scraps and notions, as well as design and technical expertise from its in-house designers who offered design feedback for the students.  

Students researched the swimsuit market and sustainability fashion trends before designing their swimsuits. They were encouraged to tailor their swimsuit design to a specific sport and to define their intended audience. Students then participated in an informal sales presentation in which their swimsuits were critiqued by members of the Lululemon design team.  

Kwantlen and Lululemon collaborated before through internships and other ventures, however, this project marked the first time Lululemon has participated in an industry linked project with degree students studying within a post-secondary environment. This project was initiated by Jennie Lam, Lululemon designer and Kwantlen fashion design degree alumna, in collaboration with Lululemon¹s Community Legacies division.  

"Based on the success of this project, we are anticipating the possibility of further industry partnerships between Lululemon and our Fashion Design degree students," comments Boni.  

As the only program of its kind in western Canada, Kwantlen's Bachelor of Applied Design in Fashion Design and Technology program prepares students for careers in the global apparel economy in fashion design, production, marketing and computer technology. This dynamic program features comprehensive industry-based education and training using leading-edge technology; class projects facilitated by prominent apparel companies; and an extensive internship that results in employment. With over 300 apparel companies in the Lower Mainland, Kwantlen provides the work force for the diversified careers offered by a vibrant BC fashion industry. To learn more about this program, contact the Richmond Campus Admissions office at 604-599-2512.

Kwantlen's mission is to create an exceptional undergraduate learning environment committed to preparing learners for leadership, service and success. Kwantlen became a university college with degree granting status in 1995, and has a mandate to develop and offer baccalaureate degrees that will prepare students for fulfilling careers.  

Mary Boni  
Fashion Program Coordinator  
Tel: 604-599-2551