Hafsah Iqbal is a recent graduate from the University of Huddersfield, having completed her degree in Fashion Design with Textiles. Hafsah reflects upon her interning experience in the fashion industry to create her Graduate Collection called “The Happy Place.” The basis for this collection stems from the idea of positivity and well-being. The perception of the fashion industry from those who don't work in it is often associated with this idea of a glamorous lifestyle. However, for those individuals who work in it know differently and this was learnt through her personal experiences on her placement year.

Taking fashion’s mental health problem into consideration, Hafsah created “The Happy Place.” This knitwear-focussed womenswear collection has been designed to comfort us, empower us, and remind us that fashion is a beautiful thing. The collection promotes, and aims to encourage, a positive, feel-good energy to uplift and balance our well-being; a positive mental attitude that stays with us through our working day, and our leisure time. Fashion is an amazing, thriving community so let’s celebrate all the individuals that contribute into making it amazing. All the way from the hard working, determined intern to the team of creatives.

The aim of this collection is to change the mindset of the fashion consumer; only by doing this will the cycle of fashion production slow down. Incorporating the skills learnt from interning with a hand-knit brand Maiami, “The Happy Place” aims to bring back and promote the handcraft. Hafsah uses hand-knitting as it is associated with bringing a meditative feeling to the knitter; it helps to relieve stress and brings a sense of serenity. By doing do so, it highlights the positive impact hand-knitting has on well-being, and the contribution it has towards the slow-fashion movement.

Hafsah hopes “The Happy Place” encourages the wearers, to consider the impact fast fashion is having, and appreciate the skills that go into creating beautiful garments. The hand-knit pieces represent a timeless craftsmanship, which is designed to last and to be kept. With a few individuals changing a few shopping habits it can gradually inspire the masses. Fashion starts from the consumer and not in production. It’s only when consumers demand ethical, sustainable, and longevity clothing, that fashion can change to supply this demand.