We’re proud of our volunteers Jane Grice and Margaret Parker who created a community of upcyclers to reuse textiles and are leading on the Craft Corner project in our #Hinckley Boutique shop.

Jane has recently been quoted in the parliamentary report Fixing fashion: clothing consumption and sustainability (read the report here: bit.ly/2V9E72n).

Jane and Margaret work with a group of other lovely volunteers who last year launched the brand new Craft Corner department in our popular Castle Street Boutique. They all have a great passion for promoting ways to avoid textile waste. Jane said:

“I contacted Emmaus because I know that charity shops are a place where often donated clothes which aren’t in a fit state to be resold, are recycled as rags. Although this is definitely valuable recycling, I wanted to show people what else can be done with these items.”

Margaret was for many years a soft furnisher, a skilled knitter and spinner. She organises social groups for knitters and practices art as a hobby. Jane is a retired fashion designer who spent the last 20 years of her career running fashion design courses. The waste created by the fashion industry is a real concern to her and she has created a Facebook community of upcyclers which now has nearly 9,000 members globally.  The volunteers now meet weekly to go through the donated textiles items, giving new life to old clothing.

“Furniture upcycling is very popular these days; we want to spread the word about how old item of clothing and other textiles can become wonderful upcycling and craft projects. In many cases we effectively strip them back to their component parts. What used to be an old dress could yield fabulous buttons for a craft project and strips of beautiful cotton could become part of a lovely new piece of clothing.”

Jane and Margaret can usually be found restocking and reorganising on Tuesday mornings. Both also prepare items for sale; this involves cutting up damaged or unsaleable donations to harvest the good fabric, which is made into craft packs and lengths of fabric.

3 ways you can help…

1. If you have any spare craft materials (sewing-related or other) please donate them.
2. If you would like to volunteer to help (either joining in the weekly meetings or upcycling textiles to be resold, from home), please get in touch.
3. Visit the new Upcycling Textiles and Crafts department of our La Boutique shop – have a rummage through this treasure trove. It’s amazing what bargains you will be able to find, especially if you are into upcycling and usually source your textiles materials from a fabric shop.

The Emmaus La Boutique shop can be found on 47 Castle Street in Hinckley, open Monday to Saturday 9am – 4.30pm.

For more information about volunteering or donating items for this project please contact Matt Taylor on 01455 637587.