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Skateboards to sunglasses from UCLan student

02 July 2013

Jamie Barnes

Unwanted skateboards could be turned into the latest fashion pieces

A Leicester-based student from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has developed an innovative concept, turning unwanted skateboard decks into bespoke fashion items.

As part of her final degree show BA(Hons) Fashion Promotion student Louisa Oldham presented Break-N-Make, a concept where skaters could bring their discarded decks into a high-street shop to see them turned into fashion accessories.

"I was inspired by Japanese artist Haroshi who makes art pieces from used skateboards. By kitting out a shop with the right equipment, old decks could be turned into something new, literally in front of the customer’s eyes."

louisa oldham

The 23-year-old said: “My market research showed professional skateboarders can get through more than 300 decks per year. I thought, as opposed to simply throwing them away, there must be something that can be done with them. I was inspired by Japanese artist Haroshi who makes art pieces from used skateboards.

“By kitting out a shop with the right equipment, old decks could be turned into something new, literally in front of the customer’s eyes. Anything from sunglasses to a piece of furniture could be created. Furthermore, items would only really be available to those who skated, meaning this would be an exclusive service and one which could really connect a brand, like skatewear giant Vans, with its core customer base,” Louisa explained.

“Sustainability was a big influence, so hopefully this makes both skating and fashion a little bit more eco-friendly. I also plan to send Vans details of Break-N-Make. I’ll be interested to hear their feedback.”

As part of her degree Louisa spent a year’s placement at Redfoot Shoes in Bacup, East Lancashire, where she oversaw a total rebranding of the company, rising to become Marketing and Branding Co-ordinator in her year at the business. Upon returning to UCLan, Louisa began initial work on the project, producing marketing and advertising proposals and even creating exemplar iPhone covers and jewellery from old decks.

The former Longslade Community College pupil added: “Sustainability was a big influence, so hopefully this makes both skating and fashion a little bit more eco-friendly. I also plan to send Vans details of Break-N-Make. I’ll be interested to hear their feedback.”