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Sew Positive

Tackling Textile Waste: Cambridge Edition

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Whatever your thoughts on the fashion industry, clothes are crucial. Not only do they keep us warm and dry, but they help us express ourselves, conveying aspects of personality, taste and the cultures or trends that we
subscribe to.

The problem is, in recent years, consumption of clothing has gone through a dizzying increase; in the last two decades alone, the amount of clothes being bought around the world has doubled, with over 80 billion garments made every year. Each item of clothing uses a vast quantity of energy, raw materials, chemicals, labour and water in its production, making fast fashion a pressing environmental challenge faced by the planet.

Click here to read the full article.

Sew Positive to upcycle textile waste provided by Cambridge office fit-out specialist COEL

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Sew Positive, the Cambridge sewing and repair charity, has partnered with COEL to find ways of reusing and upcycling sample fabrics for use in office and workspace interiors.

The charity helps people to learn to make, repair, mend, upcycle and repurpose clothes. It also aims to build communities of like-minded people facing social exclusion, and those working with the charity have found how sewing can be calming, and improve mental health and wellbeing.

Now it has teamed up with Cambridge-based office fit-out and design specialist COEL to cut down textile waste, providing discontinued swatches and remnants from previous projects.

Click here to read the full article on Cambridge Independent.

Sew Positive’s National Lottery funding for ‘Sewcialise and Upcycle’ workshops

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Cambridge charities Sew Positive and Cambridge Women’s Resources Centre (CWRC) have been awarded £10,000 National Lottery funding to run a year-long programme of workshops and events to tackle climate change through fashion and textile recycling.

The programme includes teaching repairing and mending, upcycling and repurposing clothes. Workshops will range from using a sewing machine and making sustainable sanitary products to creative workshops on repurposing clothes and charity shop finds.

The first series of weekly two-hour afternoon courses starts on April 19 and lasts 12 weeks. Courses will be repeated in autumn and spring terms for new groups.

Click here to read the full article in Cambridge Independent.

A Lasting Memento of the Queen’s Jubilee

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Haslingfield is having a go at the Sew Positive Jubilee Community Bunting Challenge.

Click here to listen to the interview on the BBC.

Employee Wellbeing

Sew Positive and Phoenix Trust Collaborate

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Phoenix Trust, a charity supporting people with learning disabilities, participated in a workshop organised by Sew Positive to customise aprons for their new cake making business. Phoenix Trust’s association with Sew Positive started when they very kindly provided a wonderful array of masks towards the start of the pandemic.

Recently they came on site with their sewing machines, offering not just their time and expertise, but also materials. The Phoenix co-workers were delighted with their designs which have subsequently received many compliments! It was also a great opportunity to have a go at learning a new skill working on the sewing machine, cutting the fabric and using the iron to press pieces flat.

Click here to read the full article.

Hang Out The Bunting: Velvet Magazine

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St Mary’s School alumna Melissa Santiago-Val is creating bunting for her former school, using old uniforms
that are now beyond repair. The bunting will act as a point of interest for special occasions at the school, as well as highlighting textile waste and encouraging support for the new charity.

Commenting on the project, Melissa said: “I’m delighted to be doing this for St Mary’s School and | hope that it will act as a talking point for discussion on textile waste, creativity and how activities, such as sewing, can help support positive mental health.”

Click here to read the full article on Velvet Magazine.

Upcycled uniform makes branded bunting

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A new charity, Sew Positive, set up by alumna Melissa Santiago-Val (at school 1976-1986), is making a celebratory set of St Mary’s bunting by upcycling old school uniforms that are beyond repair, to highlight the issue of textile waste, promote wellbeing through sewing and encourage people to think of alternatives to textile waste.

The charity already raised £40k for NHS charities together, and has progressed from making face coverings to delivering workshops to vulnerable groups across Cambridge facing isolation and mental health issues, including a course for women at the Cambridge Women’s Resource Centre, aprons for the Phoenix Trust in Milton and uniforms for Turtle Dove social enterprise.

One of its’ volunteers, Joanna (pictured) has been cutting up the donated skirts ready to match to a blue background. Sparkling gold thread will be used to match the St Mary’s emblem, which will run in zig-zag stitch across the top of the bunting’s blue webbing.

Click here to read the full article.

sewing workshops

Cambridge business and community figures on what the workplace means to them

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Schools are back and workplaces are starting to slowly fill up again, but will the last 18 months continue to affect the way we work and what does the workplace mean to people now?

Cambridge-based design and fit-out specialist COEL and business psychologist Kelly Drewery, from Talent Glue, are continuing to research the subject.

Nearly 1,000 people have filled in their survey on it and more than 350 businesses have taken part so, following our coverage in July, here we share a second selection of personal reflections from people working across different professional fields.

Click here to read the full article in Cambridge Independent.

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