Your social sewing community
Project Preloved is a community hub for everything sewing, mending, and textile upcycling. We’re a social network, helping and learning from each other to make our clothes last. We want to get creative, save money, and reduce textile waste. Why not join our community today, we’d love to meet you!
At Project Preloved, we want to:
Provide Merton residents with the skills and knowledge to extend the life of their clothing, saving money and enabling them to purchase higher quality, ethically produced garments.
Contribute to a circular economy through sharing ideas for upcycling textiles so when garments meet the end of their life, we can keep them in the loop
Mobilize a community around sewing, mending, and upcycling to share skills, ideas, and inspire each other to get creative.
Join us for a FREE series of four beginner sewing workshops that will give you the knowledge to make your clothes last and, at the end of their life, upcycle them into something new. From basic stitching and mending techniques to upcycling your old t-shirt into a scarf, Project Preloved will cover it all!
Monday 22 November, 1.30 - 3.30pm OR 6.30 - 8.30pm
In this beginner sewing workshop with Lottie Percival, you'll learn basic mending and stitching techniques so you can repair your clothes and make them last. You'll also explore fun ways to get creative with stitching and create a personalised piece of stitched artwork to take home.
Beginner upcycling projects (part I)
Thursday 20 Janurary, 1.30 - 3.30pm OR 6.30 - 8.30pm
Wondering what you could do with your textiles when they're too old to repair? In this workshop, leader Trish Ann will teach you some creative and simple ways to upcycle textiles. You'll learn how to turn an old t-shirt into a scarf and into yarn for knitting, macrame, and more!
Beginner garment alterations and repair
Thursday 17 February, 1.30 - 3.30pm OR 6.30 - 8.30pm
In this upcycle and textile care workshop, workshop leader, Cecilija will give advice on how to upcycle, mend and freshen up your existing clothes and what to look for when shopping sustainably in the future. This will include various mending techniques as well as a brief introduction of what materials to look for when shopping for clothes.
Beginner upcycling projects (part II)
In this final workshop of our Project Preloved series, workshop leader Trish Ann will teach intermediate upcycling techniques for giving old textiles a new life. You'll learn how to turn an old tote bag into a cushion and create a dust bag/laundry bag out of an old t-shirt.
Along with expert-led sewing workshops, each participant will receive a FREE beginner sewing kit and become a member of the Work and Play Scrapstore, London, where you can pick up free surplus arts and crafts materials.
Why Project Preloved? The problem of textile waste
According to Wrap, a whopping £140m worth of clothing is sent to UK landfills each year! Extending the average life of clothes by just nine months could save £5 billion a year from the costs of resources in clothing supply, laundry and disposal. This reflects a 20-30% reduction in carbon and water footprints.
Wrap also found that around 30% of clothes in the household wardrobe have typically been unused for at least a year – worth over £1,000 per household. Most often, clothes are unused because they no longer fit.
At the same time, there is a fast fashion frenzy, with cheap, poorly constructed, and unethically produced clothing being bought and worn often only a few times before it is returned to landfill. Clothing production increased in the UK by 100,000 tonnes from 2012-16 and the UK has the third highest level of annual clothing waste in Europe at 4.7kg per capita.
What can you do to reduce your impact?
Rent an outfit if there is a rental service nearby
Buy second hand clothes from a charity shop
Consider swapping clothes with friends to enhance your wardrobe
Buy better quality clothes
Take a sewing class so you can repair and upcycle your clothes to give them a new life (embroidery is a great way to close a rip in your jeans!)
Check the ethical rating of a brand before you buy (try the app “Good On You”)
How much do you know about what’s in your closet? Try earthday.org's Sustainable Fashion Quiz to test your knowledge
Love Your Clothes
A website by Wrap with an abundance of information to inspire, influence, and educate consumers to make small conscious changes to reduce the impact of clothes on the environment. Includes advice for buying, caring, upcycling, and recycling.
Good On You
A website and app that allows you to check the ethical rating of a wide range of clothing brands.
Morden Library of Things
Located at Morden Library, you can borrow a sewing machine for £8 a day to bring your next project to life.
Work and Play Scrapstore
A treasure trove of surplus arts and crafts materials to inspire creativity. With an affordable membership, you can take as much as you want home for no additional cost.
Read WRAP’s 2012 report, Valuing our clothes: The true cost of how we design, use and dispose of clothing in the UK.
Textiles 2030 aims to transform the way that the UK supplies, uses and disposes of clothing and textiles by bringing together organisations from across the clothing and textiles sector to collaborate on making progress on climate action and the move to a more circular system.
A wonderful resource for those wanting to learn more about or get involved with the ethical fashion movement.
Behind a curtain, hidden from the eye of the consumer, lies the truth about the world of fashion. This webinar discusses the way the supply chain works, what mitigating efforts are in place and looks at how fashion fits in a circular economy that aims to halt the endless consumption of our planet’s finite resources.
An introductory webinar on how textiles and fashion businesses can reduce the environmental footprint of the products they sell.
Designer, researcher, community organiser and Program/Operations Manager for The OR Foundation, Chloe Asaam, discusses the negative impact of fast fashion’s thoughtless overproduction on Kantamanto ecosystem and how she is on a mission to do something about it.
Project Preloved was made possible through funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, distributed by Merton Giving. Thank you to #NationalLottery players!
More on WASTE
With our Community Champions at the helm, we are informing, inspiring and mobilising Merton residents to actively making changes to their lifestyles to reduce waste and recycle more.
Brought to you by Sustainable Merton as part of the national award-winning Refill scheme by City to Sea, Refill Merton aims to disrupt the social norm of buying bottled water on-the-go and make carrying a reusable bottle the new normal.
library of things
Sustainable Merton has partnered with social enterprise Library of Things and Merton Council to bring you Morden Library of Things - the first of its kind in Merton! You can now pop into Morden Library to borrow useful household items like drills, carpet cleaners and gazebos from just £1 per day.
Sustainable Merton Community Champion Alyson Elliott has created a document full of ideas and tips on where to recycle the items that can't go in your kerbside collection. This handy guide will help you recycle more, recycle correctly.