Making fashion sustainable: Christina Dymioti, 2019

Christina, 2019 alumna of the MSc Marketing Management, secured funding to launch a social action project promoting sustainable fashion and Cypriot heritage - Tsemberi Fashion Project.

Christina Dymiotis at Buckingham Palace.

Christina Dymioti is a 2019 alumna of the MSc Marketing Management and former member of the Cyprus-UK Youth Exchange Program run by the Royal Commonwealth Society and Clarion Futures.

Christina secured funding to launch a social action project promoting sustainable fashion and Cypriot heritage - Tsemberi Fashion Project. Most recently, she was honoured as one of The Queen's Commonwealth Trust Global Leaders. We asked Christina to tell us more about the project, her accomplishments so far and what she is doing next...

We would love to hear about the Tsemberi Fashion Project, which you co-founded in Cyprus alongside the UK Royal Commonwealth Society.

I took part in a Youth Exchange Program between Cyprus and the UK, which called on young leaders to develop a social action project that would benefit their local community. A fellow exchange student and I identified two key issues in Cypriot society: the lack of education about sustainability - especially fashion sustainability - and the lack of opportunities for young people in the arts and fashion industry. This is how we developed the idea for the Tsemberi Fashion Project.

The Tsemberi Fashion Project is the first inter-communal sustainable fashion project in Cyprus.

It brings together young Cypriot fashion designers and invites them to create new sustainable and zero-waste designs inspired by the Cypriot cultural heritage. The designers' creations were presented at an exhibition in May 2022 in Nicosia, Cyprus, in a collaboration with the Royal Commonwealth Society and Clarion Futures in the UK, as well as Fashion Revolution Cyprus.

Sustainable fashion and the circular economy have always been significant aspects of Cypriot heritage, but over the years this notion started to fade away in Cyprus for various social and economical reasons. We wanted to re-introduce this notion back into people’s lives to minimise clothing waste, which has a negative impact on our environment. We did this by connecting the notion of fashion sustainability with Cypriot heritage, which is deeply embedded within every Cypriot’s identity. The project allowed people to reflect and rethink their current purchasing habits (and in general the way they treat their clothes), to give space for the adoption of sustainable fashion.

The question is simple - if our ancestors lived more sustainably, why can’t we do the same?

It is no secret in Cyprus that young people in the arts sector, including fashion designers, do not have many job opportunities. The Tsemberi Fashion Project is a platform for young Cypriot fashion designers to showcase their work in social media campaigns, videos, exhibitions, and networking with industry professionals. During their participation in the project, fashion designers had the opportunity to attend meetings and in-person fashion workshops with local Cypriot sustainable fashion designers, and their work was shared with global fashion network, the Commonwealth Fashion Council.

The Tsemberi Fashion Project is the first inter-communal sustainable fashion project in Cyprus.

Christina Dymioti

MSc Marketing Management, 2019

We heard that you were chosen to represent your home country of Cyprus at the March 2020 Commonwealth Day service in Westminster Abbey. It sounds like a fantastic experience!

I had the privilege to be the official flag-bearer of Cyprus, due to my outstanding academic performance and the continuous volunteering work I do for the Greek and Cypriot communities in the UK. I was selected by the Cypriot High commission office, the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK and the Royal Commonwealth Society to represent my country at the service.

It was an unforgettable experience meeting so many young people from different nations whilst representing Cyprus and especially the Cypriots of the diaspora.

I was fortunate enough to see Her Majesty The Queen, Prince Charles and their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and of Sussex. I had the honour of meeting the High Commissioner of Cyprus Mr Andreas Kakouris as well as seeing a few celebrities including Anthony Joshua, Craig David and Geri Halliwell!

It was truly a great honour and a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will cherish forever. Because of my work with the Royal Commonwealth Service, I had the honour of attending the Commonwealth Service again this year.

It was a privilege to have my voluntary work both in the UK and Cyprus be recognized by the highest heads of state. It is one of the biggest milestones of my life.

Christina Dymioti

MSc Marketing Management, 2019


Congratulations on being invited to Buckingham Palace to attend the recent Commonwealth of the Diaspora! We’d love to hear all about your experience of the event?

After the success of our fashion exhibition in Cyprus, I received an invitation from the Royal Commonwealth Society to attend an event hosted by the Royal Family in celebration of the Commonwealth Diaspora of the United Kingdom at Buckingham Palace, ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Rwanda. The event welcomed guests who originate from countries of the Commonwealth to the palace, including celebrities and key figures representing the arts, education, the National Health Service, and the charity sector.

I had the opportunity to meet with their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. It was an absolute honour to attend such an amazing event and to represent my country. It felt so surreal being in the palace amongst inspiring people from around the Commonwealth!

It was a privilege for my voluntary work in the UK and Cyprus to be recognised by the highest heads of state. I have never thought I would have such a fantastic opportunity at such a young age - it is one of the biggest milestones of my life.

You’ve accomplished a lot in a very short space of time since completing your studies. What challenges have you overcome along the way?

The most difficult part is always the beginning of starting something new.

Something I struggled with the most was sourcing funding for the newly developed project in Cyprus. Unfortunately, there are not many funding opportunities in Cyprus and in general across the Commonwealth countries for new start-ups that are not yet registered organisations. This is the reason I searched for project funding in the UK, and I am very grateful to the Royal Commonwealth Society and Clarion Futures for funding the Tsemberi Fashion Project.

What is next for the Tsemberi Fashion Project?

The Tsemberi Fashion Project was a great start. It has led to the launch of a much bigger organisation though. The Fashion Heritage Network Cyprus (FHNC) works with a growing group of young Cypriots and especially Fashion designers who aspire to promote Cypriot heritage through sustainable fashion. This will be achieved through fashion exhibitions, fashion shows, workshops and participation in various local and international cultural events.

You graduated with your Sheffield Business Management degree just recently in 2019. What are your fondest memories of student life?

I absolutely enjoyed studying at the University of Sheffield because I had the chance to collaborate with people from all over the world, learn from highly qualified teachers, study in superb facilities and live in a multicultural and vivid city. I made some great friends from across the world, who I’m still in contact with to this day.

Having the amazing opportunity to do a company-based project with a company in London, gave me my first exposure to the corporate world. My project focused on product marketing concerning entrepreneurial learning and digital marketing for a London-based business networking company called The Supper Club.

Another highlight was the opportunity to work for the marketing communications team as a member of the student panel for marketing communications. This enabled me to put into use all the marketing knowledge I gained from my marketing courses and it was something that drew the interest of my future employers.

I was looking for a course that would broaden my perspectives and expose me to high-level marketing knowledge, and that's exactly what I got at SUMS. From day one I was exposed to a great mix of theoretical and practical workshops, visiting speakers and class debates that challenged me and made me justify my views. Today, the experiences, skills and learning I gained from my MSc are applied every day in my role as a marketing professional and social entrepreneur.

Stay connected with your University

Experience all the benefits and services that come from being a Sheffield graduate.