The UP Creative Community have received donations of textiles from across Sutton Coldfield. In just nine short months, we have collected over 6000kgs of fabric and processed it to prevent it from entering landfill.
Initially when our community hub and second chance haberdashery was locked down in Sutton center due to the pandemic, we turned our skills into sharing, upcycling unwanted fabrics into Cover UP face coverings and uniform bags for Key workers and distributing through the foodbanks and NHS.
We created a community of UP Makers, keen sew and sews, some unskilled but willing, others highly experienced seamstresses who have a shared desire to UP cycle and UP Skill. We became one another’s purpose throughout the lockdowns and subsequent months, sharing ideas, gifting time and making with purpose.
We joined the Early Help Partnership with Birmingham City Council and became integral to its pledge to offer essential services creatively. We have gone on to add UP magic to waste products collecting and finding the best reuse of an unwanted item.
Through our Clothes Bank at the Town Hall, Garment Grab, Dignity bags for rough sleepers and Street Angels we have rehomed clothing that was heading for the bin. We offer a referral request service for all the local charities to ask whenever they need clothing and it is delivered without judgment. We have helped rough sleepers, those who are unexpectedly redundant, families with uniform and some victims of domestic violence.
The non garment fabric is repurposed through different projects with the charity partners. We have created handmade lighthouse bean bags for children through Beacon Family Services. Every child now receives a personalised Seaside Kit bag containing their four individual bean bags shaped as lighthouses. They are designed in the style of the logo to remind the user that their time with the charity is a beacon of light showing them the right way to behave to traumas. They were designed in collaboration with the charity to make a Covid secure inner layer which is wipeable and a soft, appealing outer layer which can be washed. Our UP Makers have made over 100 bean bags to date from UPcycled fabrics.
With local textile artists we have designed and created a series of Anxiety Animal sewing kits which can be used during counselling to distract the hands and allow the user to be soothed. We designed clear sewing instructions and a pocket for worries to be placed. Sloth is a reminder to slow down and just be sometimes, Koala is extra padded for comfort and cuddles and Meerkat works alongside the book by Jane Evans for anxiety in children. These packs are currently being rolled out to Our Place Support and Cherished UK.
These proudly UP cycled kits could be sold as seasonal gifts for people to entertain themselves creatively over the winter season whilst at home. Some come with rum (Pirate Kit), others with a tea bag, all with love and a reminder to take a moment for cathartic art in this busy time.
We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved in creating, developing and nurturing this incredible community asset.
We have pledged to recruit more expert trustees to support our growth and protect our founding ethos of People and Planet as well as a new Director of Sales. If you are interested in joining this passionate, resourceful team please do contact us.