We’d like to say a special thanks to our team of volunteers. Throughout the year they have made sure the shop and most recently the market stall, has been well equipped with beautiful products, so you can treat yourself or someone else with an environmentally conscious gift.
ReMode would not be the same without the talented volunteers. They regularly contribute their time and skills to create unique, sustainable garments and accessories for us to stock. Over the last couple of months, with the guidance of the also talented Carolyn Edmondson, our volunteer coordinator, they have stitched bum bags, jumpers, scarves and origami bags. All of which are made from reclaimed fabric from our extensive donations selection, thus creating a one of a kind item, minimising textile derived harm on the environment. The production of new textiles has harmful effects on people, communities and the natural world through water and air pollution, pesticides, unsafe working conditions and excessive water use.
That’s why buying second hand, or items made using recycled or second hand materials which makes use of the resources already in circulation, does not enable this often harmful means of mass textile production.
Here’s the breakdown of some of the volunteer team’s most recent creations…
We put an unused textile sample book (the kind you might rifle through in a haberdashery if choosing fabric to do upholstering) to good use by setting the fabric pages free and using them to make bum bags. This resulted in really cool textures, patterns and colour schemes going on. If you’re interested in making your own bum bag at home using repurposed fabric then see our make pack here.
The patch work jumpers that the volunteers made using multiple disused jumpers have a truly stylish and unique vibe. Within the bags of donations we receive, are some garments not ready to be sold on as they have rips, holes or stains. Carolyn gathered all jumpers and sweatshirts like this and demonstrated how holes could be covered with patches from other holy jumpers, or whole sleeves and sections like cuffs and collars could be switched to remove stains and create a new garment entirely. Old jumpers took on a whole new lease of life and the outcome was an exciting and rare looking, fully functional bit of clothing.
The scarves were fashioned by taking all the remaining odd bits of jumper, chopping them into squares and joining them together with a contrasting coloured thread using an overlocking machine. This utilised fabric that in many other circumstances might have been thrown away, reducing waste to a minimum. These could be whipped up quickly and were very fun and satisfying for the volunteers to make.
Jack, volunteer, said regarding what’s been made in the shop and what’s been learnt during the sessions, “I’ve made tote bags from fabrics that have been printed on by other ReMode volunteers, scarves from unwanted jumpers, jumpers from fabric scraps, and lots of other things. ReMode has been a place for me to learn so much, about sewing and also about the fashion industry and how to treat clothes properly to get the most out of them.
Origami bag creation involves no traditional pattern- just a nifty folding technique with 2 rectangles of fabric to form the structure of the bag. We selected a wide array of fabric to use from our donation inventory, from cross stitch to tie-dye, to lace and wool.
Like the bum bags, the origami bags are also available as a make pack, so if you like the sound of them and want to make one yourself, have a browse of what fabric combinations we have available here.
On the process of making the origami bags volunteer Esmee said “I enjoyed repeating the project multiple times, and found it an effective way for me to learn when sewing. I really like that each garment isn’t necessarily made by one person; it gets passed around day to day and finished off by whoever is around to work on it, which makes for a nice collaborative process!”
Volunteer Drew said, on the making of the origami bags and the selling of them at the stall “I’d put lots of love and care into starting or finishing them up, as did the other wonderful volunteers. To have Paisley locals and visitors stopping by to admire them, or to share their own stories about sewing and crafting, made it so worth being in the typical Scottish weather!”
Our project manager Jane ran a card making workshop for the volunteers. They used tiny scraps of fabric cut to various shapes, like cones and circles, to make beautiful festive greetings cards. Using the sewing machines to do freestyle machine applique, the fabric shapes were attached to the recycled paper cards and became Christmas trees and baubles! It just goes to show that even the tiniest piece of fabric can be put to great use. The card bundles come in a set of 4 and have been flying off the shelves and spreading some cheer.
Volunteer Mary said on the creative flurry in the run up to Christmas “What a combination! Traditional paper craft techniques like origami and card making; repurposed textiles (Inc. vintage hand stitched needlework elements); machine sewing bags and scarfs; great expert guidance AND refreshments.”