Last month TRAID’s Education team visited St Margaret Clitherow Primary School in Brent with the support of Brent Council. The Year 6 pupils worked to produce a unique T-shirt embellished with their own designs using only recycled materials and unwanted clothes. The workshop aimed to deepen understanding about the global textile industry, to value the many hands that make our clothes and mark as a creative intervention to stop clothes that we no longer want from going to waste by refashioning them with some simple basic sewing skills and by doing so extending the life of their clothes.

The Year 6 class spent the morning designing their T-shirt to reflect their personality and the things they love before choosing scrap fabrics to help realise their design.

Thinking about the school summer holidays was a recurring theme!
Thinking about the school summer holidays was a recurring theme!
Designs and themes were strong.
Designs and themes were strong.

Year 6 Teacher Ms Heath said of the workshop: ‘The children absolutely loved it! They thought it was amazing what they could do with bits of fabric and clothing they thought they would never wear. It certainly made them think more creatively about their clothes.’

Year 6 pupil Grugol thought it was fun and it helped him be more creative with his designs. It also helped him practice his sewing skills he never thought he had. Whilst Renae, aged 11, said ‘It gave us all a chance to experience sewing and create unique designs.’

Year 6 students sewing and redesigning
Year 6 students sewing and redesigning
Building haptic skills
Building haptic skills

Fellow classmate Nicole said ‘I think it was great because it brought our ideas to reality and also it gave us an experience of sewing, putting our own stamp on the clothes. We sometimes take our clothing for granted so not only were we having fun but we were also helping the environment. We don’t always have to buy new clothes – we can upcycle our current clothes and make them look just as interesting but at the same time have lots of fun!’

Year 6 pupils proudly show their upcycled T-shirts
Year 6 pupils proudly show their upcycled T-shirts

TRAID’s Head of Education Sarah Klymkiw says of the project, ‘Our education programme is designed to promote sustainability, be mindful of living within our earth’s precious resources and to better understand the impact our decisions can have on the planet. To promote a healthy relationship with our clothing and to tackle waste we need creative solutions and by learning how to sew we also learn the skills to be able to go on and repair and care for our clothes and keep them and love them for longer. The pupils at St Margaret Clitherow Primary School should be proud of what they have produced and to use their creativity to promote the message of reusing and recycling clothing in the community.’

St Margaret Clitherow Primary School’s work has been given the Francesco Colucci touch and is currently in the window of TRAID Kilburn until mid-July 2016.

TRAID Kilburn Window Takeover with St Margaret Clitherow Primary School Refashion T-shirts
TRAID Kilburn Window Takeover with St Margaret Clitherow Primary School Refashion T-shirts
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