Fashion Revolution Week

Belper’s first Fashion Revolution event took place during Fashion Revolution Week 2019. The action happened in St Peter’s Church on Friday April 26th,  it was very well supported by people from Belper and beyond.The idea for the Fashion Revolution movement came from Carry Somers after the tragedy of the Rana Plaza disaster. On 24 April 2013, a factory building in Bangladesh collapsed killing 1,134 people and injuring 2500 more. Carry (who has a Fair Trade shop in Ashbourne) felt this was a tipping point and something needed to be done. She phoned Orsola de Castro, founder of up-cycling fashion label ‘From Somewhere‘. Orsola immediately said, ‘Yes we have got to do this.” The first fashion Revolution Day took place in 2014. Fashion Revolution Day has now become Fashion Revolution Week and this year took place from April 22 – 28.

It was encouraging to have at the event a young fashion designer from Derby, Leren Connor. Her company Bambis Den is an eclectic mix of forgotten treasures, festival attire, alternative clothing and accessories. Leren is an advocate for sustainable fashion, she sources charity shops and car boots for the best denim and materials to use in her collections and gives them a new lease of life. A clothes swap was organised by Shena Lawrence and her team. Shena runs a monthly clothes swap at Creartii Belper and the next one will be on May 22nd 2019 from 7.00-9.00pm. More details can be found at the bottom of this blog.
There was a Fabric Swap for all those who enjoy making or mending.

Bryony Roberts travelled  from the South West to lead a craft activist activity. Craft activism is slow activism which helps people to think about important issues while making something. In 2014 I started an ongoing banner about why things need to change in the fashion industry. The idea was that people thought about the issues and wrote or sewed something onto a fabric post it note. Last Friday more post it notes were embroidered and added to the banner.One of todays trends, currently referred to as Fast Fashion, is to wear clothing and then discard, either because it is cheap or you can easily buy something new because it gets damaged in some way. Two local ladies brought along their sewing machines. Marilyn’s was from the 1930s and she had information about making your own clothes. Pam’s was more modern and she was able to help with repairs and showed examples of how garments could be mended or altered to make something new.There were two workshop tables where those who attended could have a go at altering or creating something new from something old. Sue MacFarlane (owner of Sues Sustainables, a shop that sells sustainable options for your everyday needs) turned mens shirts into bags.Kim Kerry (who has a monthly stall on Belper Farmer’s market, selling wool and wool related items) brought along yarn and crochet hooks to give people a go and show how crochet can used to alter or mend clothing.There was space to have your photo taken holding a card which asked, Who Made My Clothes? The idea behind this is that you contact the brand who made the item and ask them if they know who made it, encouraging transparency in the Fashion Industry.And of course there was a cafe area with homemade cake and biscuits.For your information shown below are details about an event organised by Shena Lawrence at Creatii Art Studio.

Reusable Gift Wrapping

At Christmas I decided to wrap all my Christmas presents with brown paper because I wasn’t sure whether normal wrapping paper was suitable for recycling.

This is the information I found on the internet.

  • Some local authorities accept wrapping paper in home recycling collections
  • Others ask for wrapping paper to be taken to the local recycling centre
  • Some do not collect wrapping paper at all because wrapping paper is not accepted by some recycled paper mills. There are a number of reasons for this.

I looked on my local Councils recycling page and wrapping paper was not mentioned so I am still not sure.

We didn’t manage to recycle all our brown paper as in all the mayhem of Christmas there wasn’t a huge amount of time to remove all the sticky tape. I should have probably folded the paper and then kept it in place with ribbon and not used any sticky tape.

As a family we always have a celebration on New Year’s Day and give small gifts. I decided this year to make up some fabric bags to wrap presents. This worked really well and they can all be reused next year. I didn’t buy any new fabric, just used up bits I had. The only downside will be next Christmas working out which bag is the best for each gift. I tried different ways of making and then came up with one that I could complete in 10 minutes.After Christmas I decided to make some bags by the same method to keep our reusable coffee cups in. We like to keep a couple of cups in the car as you never know when you are going to feel like a coffee and of course by using reusable cup you cut down on single use plastic. You also save money usually at least 25p a cup.The larger bag on the left has two cups in it and the smaller one on the right is big enough for one cup. This fabric I bought years ago on a trip to Estonia. I had used some of it but had a small amount left.

To make the bag for one cup I cut a piece of Fabric 36 cms by 28 cms. I like to stop the edges of the fabric fraying so I used a zig zag stitch around the whole piece. I folded the piece in half with the right sides facing each other and sewed with a straight stitch down the side seam, starting about 6 cms from the top edge and along the bottom of the bag.The next stage was to make the top with a casing for a piece of ribbon to go through. Again I like to neaten my work so I folded back each short 6 cm edge at the side and sewed it in place with a straight stitch.The last step was to turn over the top edge so that it came down about 3 cms and sew with a straight stitch right around the bag. I then used a straight stitch to sew about half a cm down from the top folded edge.The bag can now be turned out the right way and a piece of ribbon threaded through the top casing. This will close the bag and can be tied with a bow.

Beeswax Alternative to Clingfilm

As a family we are trying to reduce our use of plastic items, particularly single use plastic. Everyones lives are full of plastic which for years has proved to be very convenient and useful. However we now realise the harm it is doing to both animals and the environment. There is also the problem of potential toxins leaking out of the plastic we use to store and cover food.

We have stopped buying bottled water and now use refillable bottles. I have to admit these are plastic but at least not single use. I have however bought a bamboo reusable, take away coffee cup rather than using the ones supplied by the coffee companies. I have already found I can benefit from a 25p reduction in the cost of the take away coffee from some companies. Continue reading Beeswax Alternative to Clingfilm

Tomorrow, the film.

Do you believe that climate change is happening? Are you worried about the amount of Co2 in the atmosphere and the air quality in towns and cities around the world? What about the damage that plastics are doing to our world. It can be very easy to feel that there is nothing we can do, the problems are too large and so it is easier to bury our heads in the sand. Continue reading Tomorrow, the film.

Candlelit Vigil

A candlelit vigil is going to take place in Belper organised by Transition Belper. This is to mark the Paris Environmental talks. I am planning to go and organise an activity in Number 28 on Belper Market place. I feel that this is an issue that everyone needs to think about as what we do now will affect our children and grandchildren. Continue reading Candlelit Vigil

Climate Change

Is Climate change something we need to worry about?  If so is there anything we can do about it? We live in a beautiful world and I’m sure we would all like to keep it this way.Climate change has been mentioned a lot in the news recently because of COP21 (the 21st Conference of the Parties). This is the annual meeting of world leaders for the UN talks on climate change and sustainable development. This year it is to take place in Paris. The conference is crucial because it is hoped that the outcome will be a new international agreement on how to tackle global warming. It has been agreed for some time that it is important to keep global warming below 2% and we are already half way to this figure at 1%. Here is a good article in The Independent.  Continue reading Climate Change