Street fashion plan to keep Hackney girls out of street gangs

A fashion design project has been launched to help young women and girls in Hackney design street fashion rather than get involved in street gangs.

Peabody, one of London’s oldest and largest housing associations, is running the fashion design project for young women in Hackney who are at risk from gangs.

Young fashionistas celebrated the launch of Threads last week and the three-year project which is funded by Children in Need is based at Peabody’s Pembury estate, Lower Clapton.

Through fashion-based activities it aims to help young women and girls aged ten to 18 improve numeracy and literacy skills, raise aspirations, introduce career opportunities, and increase self esteem and community engagement through weekly sessions until January 2014.

Participants will learn skills including sewing, pattern cutting, customising, jewellery making and styling.

They will also have the chance to run their own fashion exhibitions and showcases, and go on research trips to museums, galleries and leading fashion events such as Clothes Show Live.

As part of the project, the young women will complete personal development sessions to help them build confidence, self esteem and independence.

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Natalie Bell, Threads project manager, said: “Threads is about giving young women the skills to further themselves and the confidence to say no to gangs and negativity. There is a world of opportunity out there which we want to help them to discover.”