The Upcycling Workshops were held in the Red Cross Boutique during the START Garden Party to Make a Difference. The NOI Collective (Orsola De Castro, Joscelyn Whipple,Lucy Seigle and Livia Firth) co-ordinated the workshop space and invited designers to lead upcycing workshops throughout the 12 day Garden Party.
John Lewis haberdashery and Janome sewing machines generously sponsored the Upcycling workshops.
The main aim of the START Garden Party to Make a Difference was to encourage people to seek ways to make changes in their behaviour in order to reduce the impact the UK has on the environment. From reusing materials, to growing your own vegetables, companies large and small from around the UK were brought together to give advice and create a movement of change to inspire the UK to START making small changes that collectively can make a big difference. START suggestions were located around the Garden Party, the two below relate to clothing.
All workshops encouraged visitors to take part in a range of hands on practical activities from jewellery making with Little Glass Clementine, patchworking with Lu Flux, 'pimp your pants' customising with Enamore and t-shirt upcycling with THTC. It was great to see families working together and spending time to create something hand made and unique, learning and developing skills together. Hopefully, time spent at the START Garden Party will have sparked an interest and inspired families to spend more time on sewing projects, from sewing on a button to making a new garment!
Antiform founder Lizzie Harrison demonstrated her unique upcycling skills with Red Cross garments and encouraged visitors to rethink their clothing and to take on their own upcycling projects. The Antiform Industries project based in Leeds encourages community involvement offering affordable yet individual and unique alternatives to high street value fashion whilst also teaching skills and organising swapping events in their studio/workshop/retail space.
You can find out more about the upcycled Antiform clothing and their great work through their website
Taking damaged or surplus stock from brands such as Pachacuti, Pants to Poverty and The Hemp Trading Company provided source materials for workshops, which encouraged people to rethink product shape, purpose and to make a start on their own upcycling projects. The below workshop invited visitors to create a clutch bag from damaged Pachacuti panama hat. A variety of shapes were created from the transformed hats and it was great to see each visitor approach the workshop challenge with a unique vision and take on their personal and unique style.