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Jan McNulty

Press Release: Birmingham based professional ballet student creates clothing brand to raise money for wildlife charity in Australia

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Media release: 10 February 2020 - Lydia Brayshaw is a seventeen year old full-time ballet student training at Elmhurst Ballet School in Birmingham, the vocational school in association with Birmingham Royal Ballet.

In response to the devastating bushfires 10,000 miles away from her family home in Devon, Lydia has turned a school project into a business, LYDIA B, and is helping to raise funds for WIRES, the Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service in New South Wales, Australia.




Like so many of her family, friends and fellow ballet students, Lydia has found it difficult to ignore the devastation the bushfires have brought to the Australian wildlife, rural landscapes and communities over the last few months. It is estimated that over one billion creatures* have perished in the bushfires since September 2019.


Designed by Lydia, the LYDIA B t-shirts show a kangaroo embracing a koala to symbolise the solidarity Lydia felt but couldn't express in words as she watched the news unfold. “I’ll take care of you” also forms part of the design intended to send a message of support to those affected by the ravaging scenes in Australia.


Ballet student Lydia said:Despite being so far away from the disaster I felt I needed to do something. In addition to my full-time ballet training at Elmhurst, I have always had an interest in fashion and design, especially sustainable clothing. I’m aware of the strain fast fashion is putting on the environment as the second largest polluter in the world, so when I first decided to create LYDIA B as part of a school Extended Project Qualification, I was determined it would be as green and ethical as possible.”


Lydia continued:The clothing is made from 100% organic cotton and is world-certified to avoid sweatshops. We use Broadside Screen Printers in Exeter who hand print the designs onto the clothing using water based inks. LYDIA B uses zero plastic, and packaging is entirely recyclable and ocean friendly.


For every t-shirt sold, £5 will be donated to WIRES who are now rescuing as many animals as possible and nursing them back to health.


Lydia added:In addition to being a professional dancer when I graduate from school in 2021, I really hope LYDIA B continues to grow so it can make an even bigger impact on the environment and support more organisations such as WIRES.”


- ENDS -



- For more information and to purchase t-shirts, ‘Kangaroo’, in aid of WIRES and the wildlife affected by the Australian bushfires and flash flooding, please visit https://www.lydiab.co/product/kangaroo/

- * https://www.wires.org.au/ for more information about WIRES


- Elmhurst Ballet School will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2023. The school opened in Camberley, Surrey in 1923 and relocated to Edgbaston in Birmingham in 2023. It is a world-renowned centre of excellence in association with Birmingham Royal Ballet and prepares talented young dancers aged between 11 and 19 to become the thinking dance professionals of the future. The school nurtures individuality through a holistic approach to training, education and health, which helps students to become independent, collaborative and versatile artists, ready to take their professional places on the world stage. Elmhurst’s dance training is of the highest quality and is delivered by current and former dance professionals. This training is enhanced by opportunities to work with Birmingham Royal Ballet, visiting choreographers and dance artists. Elite but not elitist, Elmhurst believes that talent is classless and its exceptional training opportunities should be available to young dancers regardless of their financial, social or cultural backgrounds. Whilst Elmhurst is an independent school, typically some 80% of students benefit from Government support to train at the school.

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