Sewing for Success
Local creative organisation Sew London is helping residents to upcycle and reuse their unwanted clothing and textiles by running recycling sewing, arts and craft workshops, helping the environment by diverting waste from going into landfill.
Organiser Kemi Oloyede has run workshops on easy, fun ways to upcycle household clothes, helping families to save money and get creative. Easy upcycling ideas include turning old pairs of jeans into shoulder bags and creating sofa cushions covers from scraps of material.
Kemi explains: “People want to help the environment while passing their skills on to the next generation. There’s so much potential in our borough, where you can donate textiles or fabrics you don’t want to someone who needs it, such as a neighbour or charity shops, when it will be safe to do so.”
Upcycling just needs a simple sewing kit, or just needle and thread. To get started, you might look at saving scraps of clothing to decorate plain Tshirts, or upcycling your favourite coat or jacket and altering its look completely by changing the buttons or adding some badges or other decorations.
Her future plans include working with local seamstresses, tailors, schools, fashion students, and others to train them in sewing skills and how to repurpose textile waste and hopes to create some online workshops later this year.
Councillor Syed Ghani, Cabinet Member for Public Realm, said: “It’s fantastic to see Sew London promote creative ways our residents can reduce, re-use and recycle materials, and continue to do their bit for the environment during the lockdown. Obviously being green is a priority for our borough, and recycling in any way we can helps.”
Residents can get more information and tips on how to reduce waste at Reduce Your Waste including information on recycling banks where unwanted clothing can be donated.