A textiles refashion workshop programme developing new skills in our community. The project was run by Alice and Natti.

This course was run by local facilitators Alice Holloway and Natti Russell. The Remakery commissioned a series of refashion workshops that initially introduced a group of local people to the concepts and ideas behind refashion. 

The course taught a range of skills to work with existing items of clothing and various ways in which to bring personal thoughts about style and design ideas into the design process. During the sessions participants were encouraged to design with fabric and items of clothing they already had at home.

Each session allowed time to develop skills, alongside one’s own design style. The first session included an introduction to the sewing machine. Participants practised controlling machine speed and a series of manoeuvres. Learning how to load the thread, sew lines, zig-zags and circles. Later sessions explored patching, printing and other techniques of creatively enhancing textiles. Further into the course participants gained knowledge of the deconstruction and reconstruction of clothing.


The main focus of the reuse aspect of this project was to work with existing materials and items of clothing. This is to: hold on to things that use raw materials and energy to be produced, for as long as possible; to promote ideas of repair and transformation; and to promote green sector principles as key components of localism and entrepreneurialism.

The volume of water required to make items of clothing using cotton can be anywhere between 2,000-10,000 litres of water. With the average item of clothing only being used seven times in its lifecycle.

The debate about natural fibres and synthetic fibres and which are best to use and recycle, is not a straightforward one. Clearly the cost of synthetics is one of the main reasons it is still a growth market and the time and water required in the production of natural fibres are some of the reasons they are not growing at the same rate. 

It is important to understand the carbon footprint of synthetics (several times that of natural fibres). To consider the process of recycling used textiles back into clothing versus keeping things in circulation. Certainly the latter is the simplest for as long as this is possible.

12% of the material used for clothing ends up being recycled. Presently, less than 1% of textile waste is recycled into new fibres.

In future, businesses will work more with recycled materials – This is a growing trend. While businesses continue this research, communities need to continue to build resilience and find a ‘way-in’ to green sector employment.

Due to the relative simplicity of adjusting clothes we already have, the reuse of fashion remains a valuable objective for local enterprises. 

There is more that can be done to support communities in this area. Recycling and even better still circular textiles business models are topics we continue to explore in workshops and discussions at The Remakery.



The project was shared widely on local estates in the SE5 and SW9 area. Through links with local community groups & TRAs, details of the course were shared with more than 20 groups and estates.

There were seven workshop sessions in total, directly engaging 16 people in textiles and refashion activities and a further 50 people interacting with this work via a community event where a variety of work was on display. The project has also been shared with our online communities on social media.