In the second of our guest maker series, we sent designer Sarah McCormack an upcycle mystery pack containing a selection of fabrics and old garments including a donated wedding dress which was stained and marked and some offcuts of lace from ReMode’s research visit to MYB Textiles*.

Sarah’s challenge was to create a new item of clothing that will be appearing in our shop soon.

In this short interview, guest blogger Thomas Dixon spoke to Sarah when she was in the midst of the challenge and asked about her design process, how she approached this project and the role of sustainability in her work.

“I definitely approached [this challenge] in a very familiar way to me – quite unplanned and spontaneous and trying stuff out on the mannequin. I just think it’s important to work in a way which is familiar …It was quite hands on – quite sculptural and handsewn. It’s quite nice to use a garment – normally I just use fabric – it’s nice to use an existing garment because that can add so many facets to the way it’s adapted as well.

“There are so many factors to making something be sustainable; not using new or not making something that will fall apart or [to] not be unfashionable and one-off. It’s quite a big conversation which I’m slowly coming to terms with and I’m like yeah I’m sustainable some-how.”

You can see more of Sarah’s work on her instagram account.

If you’ve been inspired by this to take on your own upcycle project, we have Upcycle Mystery Packs available to purchase on our website.

*ReMode’s research visit to MYB textiles was part of the Reel Lives project.

Funded by Renfrewshire Council, Reel Lives is a participatory and research project looking at the intrinsic value of fabric as a significant creative resource  – whatever its origin.  As part of research into waste from local manufacturing processes, we visited MYB Textiles in Ayrshire. MYB is the last remaining mill in the area, producing world renowned fine lace. MYB is now the only producer in the world manufacturing patterned lace with original Nottingham Lace Looms, some of which are over 90 years old. This slow, labour intensive manufacturing process allows for a high level of quality control and attention to detail.

We’ve been filming different elements of the Reel Lives project and will be releasing a film all about the project in spring 2021.