Jane Dixon

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The Share and Repair Network is proud to support Fashion Revolution Week, ‘an annual campaign bringing together the world’s largest fashion activism movement’.

‘No two people look the same or lead a “perfect” lifestyle. We each have the power as global citizens to transform the fashion ecosystem. You don’t need to be doing everything but we do need everyone to do something, however big or small.’

Explore this article to discover our members amazing contribution to textile reuse and garment repair as part of the sharing and repairing movement in Scotland.

Interested in developing your own programme of clothing repair through your share or repair project?

Discover support available from our Share and Repair Network members through community engagement initiatives and volunteer training below.

Community Engagement Through Street Stitching

The Street Stitching movement was created in 2021 by craftivist and artist Suzi Warren and an act of joyful disruption, demonstrating the fun of, and need for, garment repair.

In the Street Stitching movement, volunteers sit and mend in public places around the world. Each street stitcher is encouraged to have a hand made chair-banner with the hashtag #stitchitdontditchit and a QR code linking to free online garment repair resources.

Here in Scotland, Mary Morton, a sewing volunteer with Share and Repair Network member SHRUB Coop was inspired to set up a local group, Edinburgh Street Stitchers. The group had its first outing in April 2022 and since then has been demonstrating at least once a month between April and October. The group engages with the public to discuss the impact of textiles on climate and environment, sign posts to local and online learning opportunities and provides advice to those with a garment they wish to repair.

Edinburgh Street Stitchers recently supported the Friends of the Earth Scotland Circular Economy Showcase at Scottish Parliament to support a strong Circular Economy Bill. For Fashion Revolution Week the group will run an event to mark Mend in Public day on 20th April at The Meadows in Edinburgh.

If you’d like to join them or chat about setting up a local group, you can contact Edinburgh Street Stitchers via Instagram or by emailing mary@shrubcoop.org.

Train the Trainer: Sewing Machine Driving Licence – ‘From Manual to Automatic’

In Summer 2022, The GRAB Trust in Argyll ran its first Sewing Machine Driving Licence course, developed by lead sewing volunteer Ruth Love. The course aims to support people to build their confidence and reclaim sewing machines that may be out of use.

This 12 hour course designed to be delivered over 2 x 6hr days or 6 x 2hr sessions. Attendees bring their machine from home and are guided through set up, maintenance, trouble shooting and functions, walking away with renewed confidence and motivation to tackle sewing and repair projects at home. The course is popular, often fully booked within 24 hours, has 5* reviews and a waiting lists of people hoping to attend.

Great, knowledgeable tutor, has increased my confidence on mine and my machines capabilities. Huge amount learned in only 6 weeks. Can’t wait to improve my skills and ‘just have a go.” – S

“Excellent Workshop. Each Session planned and delivered perfectly by Ruth. I now feel more empowered to try some projects at home.” – B

Due to the popularity of the course, Ruth now offers ‘Train the Trainer’ sessions where she will meet with an experienced sewing volunteer to go over the course structure, curriculum, answer questions and provide resources, enabling them to deliver the Sewing Machine Driving Licence in their local community.

The GRAB Trust would love to see the course offered across Scotland.  If you’re a not-for-profit organisation and would like to find out more and the Train the Trainer sessions email remake@grab.org.uk or info@grab.org.uk for more information.

Developing Hand Mending Skills

Many Share and Repair Network members will already be aware of the fantastic free resources available through the Repair What You Wear website.  With a huge catalogue of advice on different types of garment repair, the website is a valuable reference tool for any volunteer repairer. From fixing chewed cuffs on school uniforms to patching the elbow on fine knitwear, the comprehensive guides can help you tackle repairs with confidence. The website also provides a whole section of free resources for the education sector.

The Aberdeen based project was set up by Ros Studd in a response to austerity and climate change, a recognition of the need that small things will make a difference to individuals and society. With clear and accessible teaching at its core it is designed to empower.

Ros and her colleague ran a well-received session on how to share hand-sewing skills at the recent Share and Repair Gathering.  If you’d be interested in them running a similar session for you, get in touch at repairwhatyouwear@gmail.com.

If you’d like to learn more about our Share and Repair Network members, become a member, or learn about setting up your own project, email jane@circularcommunities.scot.

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