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Duchess of Cambridge inspires sustainable fashion at Ascot

Wide brimmed hats and nude colours are set to be the big fashion trends at this year's Royal Ascot - but hat designers say sustainability will also be key.

Serena Churchill, great-granddaughter of wartime prime minister Winston Churchill has just graduated with a degree in chemistry from Edinburgh University and hopes to go on to be an environmental consultant.

The environmentalist also be wearing a hat made from recycled plastic to one of Britain’s biggest horse racing meets, and staples of the social season. Covered in plastic butterflies, Churchill believes her famous ancestor would support the choice to use Ascot to highlight the plight of butterflies, which are under threat from the changing landscape.

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"Churchill would have definitely approved of this hat,” says Serena.

“He also a big lover of nature and he had many animals including dogs, pigs and black swans. I think if he was still alive today he would have been 100 per cent behind this cause to save our planet and to save our beautiful countryside."

The hats women choose for the most important day of the week, Ladies' Day, are generally about making a statement – with the day as much about fashion as about the horses.

"I became involved in this project as the artist really wanted to find a model who shared her passion for sustainability," she explains.

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The hat was a collaboration between artist Jasmine Pradissitto and milliner Carrie Jenkinson, whose designs have been worn by the Royal family and a host of celebrities.

Pradissitto used recycled plastic to create the shimmering butterflies on the hat in her unique artistic style which she describes as 'holograms you can touch'.

She says it addresses environmental problems, such as a decrease in the number of butterflies, as well as issues with the fashion industry which she has discovered through her research.

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