We had a great Swish last Thursday at The Making House, it was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun!
At The Making House we believe in encouraging people to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible through the workshops we run as well as the craft items we sell and so the spirit of swishing fits in perfectly with this. Gok Wan, of course, took the idea of swishing to the mainstream and even the likes of Marks and Spencers are now encouraging people to swish. Alongside the clothes swapping, we like to support a local charity and for our latest event we raised money for Burton and District YMCA.
For those of you who haven’t been to a swishing event it’s an opportunity for you to swap your quality clothes and accessories for someone else’s to create a new and different look. We had our own expert, Joelle Harris, on hand to give upcycling advise and suggest ways you could adapt pieces; when all else fails, following Gok’s inspiration, add a feature belt to your outfit! We like to make it a fun evening and so as well as clothes swapping, we’ve drink, food and pampering sessions for people to enjoy. And as always there’s some great art and craft on display too.
For anyone thinking of running a swish, it is great fun but, be warned, I had forgotten how much work was involved! You need plenty of people to help sort clothes, plenty of rails and hangers and do insist that you get the clothes in before the event.
Joelle Harris our sewing expert at The Making House explains why we swish
We all love to have new clothes to wear, but what does it cost? There’s the cost to us in financial terms, but also to the environment and those people who work in the industry.
There are lots of things to consider in the production of textiles, like the water, chemicals, and dyes used in growing cotton, making polyester, and all the alternatives. The labour that goes into making our clothes, we have all heard about sweat shops and child labour. Then there is what we do with the clothes once we have finished with them.
Maybe that’s why we tend to hang on to what is in our wardrobes, we think, I paid good money for that, I shouldn’t just throw it away. Fortunately there are events now, like our swishing event, where the things in your wardrobe that are still in good condition can be swapped guilt free for something you would actually wear.
For those things that you have actually worn out, don’t bin it! It will end up in landfill, along with about 80% of Britian’s textile waste. The trouble with this is that, polyester isn’t going to decompose for rather a long time and natural fibres will decompose and create methane. Both bad for the environment. Put them in the textile bank instead, or send to your favourite charity shop. What isn’t good enough to be resold, will stand a much better chance of being recycled. Lots of clothing can be recycled, such as cotton and wool. Polyester is the ultimate recyclable fibre, just chop it up and melt it down. In fact the ultimate recyclable item of clothing is the fleecy! Which can be made from plastic bottles in the 1st place.
We run various upcycling workshops here at the making house.
You can take a jacket made in a lovely fabric, but no longer in fashion and redesign it into a wearable jacket, or waistcoat. Alternatively cut it up and make a great new bag.
Joelle Harris will be running a fantastic upcyled bag workshop at The Making House
on Saturday 17th November 10 -4 £60
You will learn how to create a lined bag using recycled fabrics. I Love the jacket style bag, maybe I’ll do that with the pink suit I claimed at the swish…or maybe I’ll just wear it! (Price includes a home cooked vegetarian lunch)
Joelle gives talks on upcycling and ethical fashion to ladies groups, which includes a demonstration of how she begins to upcycle a jacket. Visit our ‘talks’ page for more details.