Intervention Alliance are an employee owned business who work with ex-offenders to support them moving in a positive direction. They wanted a workshop that was accessible to beginners, to gain confidence in making, and that would teach some upcycling basics. Crafting is known to have many benefits for wellbeing, so we brought back an old favourite project which doesn’t use a sewing machine. We decided to bring  upcycling t-shirts into coasters (you can check out the tutorial here), and expand that so people could make whole baskets using the same technique.

Interventions Alliance were looking for a workshop where they could explore clothing and textile waste that comes from charity shops, while learning some upcycling basics. They came to us with the idea of taking unsellable garments (which might be broken, distressed, stained or similar) to upcycle them into something new that charity shops are able to sell.

Clothing like unwanted t-shirts are so ubiquitous (think of all the times you’ve ended up with a team building or charity event t-shirt you never wore again!), and charity shops can’t sell everything they get donated. “WRAP estimates that as many as 22 million pairs of shoes, and 67 million clothing items will soon be disposed via charity shops, collection banks and other donation routes.” T-shirts also often get holes or discolouration over time, which makes them unsuitable for resale by charity shops or similar. In this vein, we wanted to run a beginner friendly workshop, making fabric baskets and coasters out of ‘yarn’ made from t-shirts. Through this workshop, participants learn how to reuse clothing beyond the typical lifecycle of a fast fashion garment.

We have a lot of experience working with vulnerable adults over the last 13 years, supporting positive wellbeing and community impact. We’ve been able to tailor each project to the group in question – sometimes the aim is to gain valuable skills, while other times we’re concentrating on cultivating a community group of peers through sewing. Read more about our previous work with Woodward Court, Revive, and The Booth Centre, to give three examples. 

Interested in learning more about our external workshops, and working with Stitched Up? Read more about what we can offer here, which also has a form you can fill in to enquire with us!