Isha shah

Isha Shah

What is it that makes you passionate about your area of study?

Sustainability is at the heart of every business today. Every line of business in the industry is turning inwards to find cost-effective solutions to their resource problems and the fastest visible growth has been in the fashion & textile industry. As an entrepreneur in the making, gaining in-depth knowledge about textile sustainable resources and processing helps drive my pursuit of passion.

What is your educational background and why did you choose to study your course?

I am an architect by profession who is now exploring the field of fashion and textile sustainability. During the third year of my bachelor’s study in architecture, I found my interest shifting towards fashion sustainability. I had learnt everything about building sustainable production structures but my heart wanted something closer to the fashion industry. So, after 5 years of hard work, I decided to follow my passion and switched fields. As a complete beginner in the business, this course offered the perfect opportunity to acquire both a solid foundation in theory and practical experience of textile processing. The MSc program in Textile Sustainability & Innovation at the University of Leeds offered the perfect curriculum for someone with my background.

What motivated you to pursue study at postgraduate level?

When I was in India, I started my own clothing label. Being a complete beginner in the industry, I was not very confident about my venture and hoped to gain more knowledge into creating a fashionable yet sustainable platform. This led me to look at Masters programmes in the UK. Currently, UK industries lead the market on providing solutions that make the fashion industry more sustainable. I specifically wanted to learn textile sustainability and innovation as it deeply connects with my core values of creating a green environment and lifestyle.

What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most? 

Our classroom environment was very interactive as we had diverse group of students who came from different region of world. As an international student, I enjoyed the teaching style of the University of Leeds. The academic pattern of each module was also very systematic as we studied both aspects - theoretical and practical lab sessions which were very helpful and made it easy to learn industrial terms. The School of Design also provides you with information about events, competitions and job opportunities through various channels which help broaden your vision. We also have immense support from our professors, especially from Dr Muhammed Tausif, the programme leader. He really guided us on each and every step.

What do you plan to do once you’ve finished your course, and how do you think the skills and knowledge you’ve developed at Leeds will help with these plans?

I am sure that the knowledge and skills I have acquired here will help me to get the position in a global organisation. I am planning on working with a sustainable organisation who helps brands take green initiatives in order to sustain the environment and make positive impact.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your time at Leeds and on the course?

Leeds is a great city for international students. Everything from grocery shopping to social spaces are all within walking distance. The University Union, (Leeds University Union) organises regular events for students. You can take parts in games, cultural events and trips arranged to nearby places in and around Leeds. Welcome events like Freshers, Halloween, Global Café meet ups and Barbeque nights really gave me the opportunity to meet new people, new friends and make amazing memories.

What would you say to anyone thinking of applying for your course?

I will just say that if you are really passionate about sustainability in the textile and fashion industry, then you are at the right place. My advice would be to just go for it. The course doesn’t require a background in textile and fashion industry. It is structured so it isn’t intimidating to a beginner and people from diverse backgrounds can easily understand and learn about the industry and from each other.