Furnissdale resident and fashion graduate Eleanor Litterick has won the South Metropolitan TAFE (SM TAFE) vocational student of the year award.
During her three years of fashion training at SM TAFE Bentley, Ms Litterick impressed her lecturers with her study commitment while juggling life as a young single mother.
While at times overwhelmed with the pressures of studying and raising a family, she said her love for fashion came from her grandma, who she describes as an incredible seamstress.
"The beautiful costumes and clothing she made for us inspired me to learn to sew," Ms Litterick said.
In her first-year sustainability unit Ms Litterick grew a bio fabric from kombucha tea, harvested and dried it and made a kombucha skirt which won the Eco Design Category at Future Runway Perth Fashion Festival in 2017.
"SM TAFE provided lots of opportunities to get first-hand experience in the industry through work placements and fashion events, which helped us to understand how the industry operates, establish networks and build an impressive portfolio," she said.
"My lecturers were incredibly supportive and were able to see my passion and potential for the subject and help me develop that into a well-rounded skill set that I'm now able to apply to my new business.
"Since graduation, I've been working on my label CITIZEN, and am looking forward to launching my first collection."
SM TAFE general manager of training services and panel chair Blair Marsh said Ms Litterick's study commitment and focus on environment sustainability made her a worthy recipient of the award.
"Eleanor has achieved so much in her three years of study and her eco designs have been featured at numerous shows including the Perth Fashion Festival and Wearable Art Mandurah," he said.
In 2017 she was invited to Cambodia to visit the Asian Hope International School.
She taught workshops on fashion to primary school students who were putting together a runway show based around the theme of identity.
"It was a really rewarding experience to work with the students, discussing their own and others perceptions of their identities as the new generation of Khmer youth, and assist them in turning those concepts into beautiful fashion pieces that they modelled themselves on the runway," Ms Litterick said.
Her focus on environmental sustainability continued throughout her studies and her final nongendered graduate collection in 2019 featured entirely recycled and sustainable fabrics and a zero waste pattern design technique.