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October, 21st 2020

Bushra Burge tells us about navigating her way through the technology industry and starting her own creative studio with a holistic perspective, forging an eclectic blend of science, technology and ethical fashion.

Words By Lida Ormol

Bushra Burge is a creative director, consultant, and entrepreneur who has her own innovation studio. She has an extensive academic background with a BSc in Biochemistry, a BA in Fashion and an MA in Applied Imagination. Following on from her education, Bushra is a visiting lecturer, speaker, international artist, and of course, a consultant. Back in 2017, Bushra started her studio after having worked in several Virtual Reality (VR) and research and development projects in the tech and fashion industries, and gaining insight from collaborations with other engineers, fashion designers, and photographers.

Bushra’s studio follows a circular economy design methodology and focuses on telling stories incorporating user-centered design while integrating the newest technologies. She describes one of her innovative projects called ‘Ghostnet’: “This project was about creating sustainable, wearable technology, and making a statement on plastic pollution. The garments used VR and haptics embedded into a couture garment made of organic cotton and seaweed fabric, using sustainable, digital printing which requires less water. The name ‘Ghostnet’ refers to abandoned fishing nets which take more than one hundred years to decompose, drifting in the oceans for months, endangering marine wildlife.”

The Ghostnet Project

Speaking of her personal achievements, Bushra told us, “I have a seven-year-old daughter and she is my biggest achievement. Being a mother has definitely made me question a lot and strive to change the world more than ever. Because the choices we make today will impact future generations.” 

Delving deeper into her creative process, we asked her why she brings fashion into her immersive storytelling: I believe that fashion can be both a practical item and a means of expression. The way we dress reaffirms the stories we tell ourselves and the people around us. At the same time, we know that the fashion industry is one of the major polluting industries in the world, but we can create and use fashion as a way of tackling this.” 

Currently, Bushra is working on a couple of exciting multidisciplinary projects as a consultant and collaborator, including the development of a futuristic transmedia story around costume, as well as creating a female-focused, immersive experience using sustainable garments. More importantly, the Bushra Burge studio has been accepted as part of a 5G accelerator program in collaboration with Sustainable Finance Data Solutions to develop an online VR space for hosting international multicultural festivals. Rumination is part of a short-term project that initially began as a VR app with the idea of offering a mental health support service in response to society’s increasing need for it. This evolved into a project to help minority groups living in the UK tackle isolation.

It is worth mentioning that Bushra Burge Studio has been awarded several times for its impactful innovative work, such as; prestigious Horizon 2020 innovation award, Worth Grant award 2019, Wearsustain EU H2020 award in 2018, as few instances among others. That is the result of the efforts of Bushra and her team.