Despite the ups and downs of Covid we were delighted to be able to run our full programme of ReCycle or Dye classes for 12 – 17 years olds from August to December 2021.

Working with designers Niki Taylor and Kengkeng Watt the group took part in a broad range of creative upcycling activities – bringing irrepressible energy, enthusiasm and creativity to all aspects of the projects.


Each participant chose a garment from Remode’s stock of discarded or unfinished clothing – items that were half completed, damaged or needed some care and creativity to bring them back to usable life.

During the sessions they learned how to apply their own designs to these clothes. They were encouraged to improvise and experiment with their designs, inspired by the details and condition of the clothes, to find unexpected results. The idea was to reclaim and repair used clothes and to add personal and meaningful details to revitalise these clothes. There were lots of conversations each week about how these processes can challenge ‘fast-fashion’ practices.

Each individual took a different approach: a jumpsuit was upcycled by adding new trims, a palm print top was deconstructed to make a new garment, new buttons and some block printing were added to an old jacket, others took fabrics from the scrapbox to make a patchwork fabric to create a new garment.


Design activist Kengkeng Watt worked with the group for this set of classes to introduce the possibilities of how cross stitch can be used as a way of creating protest. These sessions were set against the backdrop of COP26 happening on our doorstep and gave rise to conversations about the climate crisis and how young people can be involved in tackling the problem.

The group learned about different stitching techniques and methods and applied these to their own design projects. Some combined these with block printing. One participant completed a cross stitch around climate messaging which was applied to her tote bag. Another emroidered flowers on a dress to represent rewilding and nature. Other members of the group chose screen printed messages to apply as protest badges for COP26 events.


Participants in the ReCycle or Dye group come from different areas of Paisley and Renfrewshire, and meet weekly for classes in the ReMode shop on Paisley High Street. With new participants joining in each block of sessions the group has proved itself to be welcoming and inclusive. New members quickly become established – with lots of chat and sometimes even a bit of singing and dancing!

I now create and recycle my own clothes outside of Remode. Without Remode I wouldn’t have the skills or motivation to do that!

project participant – age 15


The project was made possible by support from The People’s Postcode Lottery.

ReCycle or Dye is part of our wider Change Room programme for young people, which is supported by The National Lottery’s Young Start Programme, Creative Scotland and Renfrewshire Council.