Matt gets involved in Bristol BIG green week

Getting involved in Bristol BIG green week

Matt Chapple gets involved in Bristol Green Week

Getting Involved in Bristol BIG green week

I’m really excited to be a part of Bristol BIG Green Week and it’s great to see the community coming together to support sustainability. I love reusing and up-cycling whenever I can, whether it’s glamming up a jumper for Gems, or deconstructing an old shirt into a reusable paper pattern – although nowadays I prefer to work at my own pace rather than as a timed Sewing Bee challenge! Here is a bit more information about Bristol BIG green week and how you can get involved.

I will be in the Bristol Broadmead M&S on Saturday 20th from 3pm so please pop by and support us, you can find more details of how you can take part below.

What is Bristol BIG green week:

Bristol BIG green week, The UK’s biggest and much-loved eco-festival, returns from Saturday 6th to Sunday 21st June 2015 with eco ideas, art and entertainment. 50,000 visitors enjoy two weekends of free family entertainment and nine days of inspiring talks, workshops, art, music, poetry, comedy and films. There are 120 free events, and this year, our aim is to inspire love for the future. Whether you’re a culture vulture, upcyclist or DIY enthusiast, we’re sure to have something for you.

Bristol is European Green Capital 2015, meaning that Big Green Week will be the BIGGEST ever!

Check out the full programme of events here.

What M&S are doing to support it?

Marks & Spencer (M&S) will launch its first ever ‘Shwop & Sew Lab’ as part of this year’s Bristol BIG Green Week, offering local residents the opportunity to breathe new life into their existing wardrobe by sharpening their sewing and upcycling skills, through free guided workshops, challenges and ask-the-expert sessions.

Rob Bailey, M&S Broadmead Store Manager, commented: “We’re delighted to invite local people in to our store as part of Bristol BIG Green Week, and provide the opportunity to learn a new skill and learn from the experts. With an estimated 350,000 tonnes of clothing being sent to landfill each year, we want to encourage consumers to consider alternative options – whether that’s repairing, altering or upcycling, or Shwopping any unwanted garments. Anyone is welcome to attend our Shwop & Sew Lab, free of charge.”

M&S is also encouraging shoppers to ‘Shwop’ any unwanted garments at any of its Bristol stores during BIG Green Week. All those who Shwop in-store on 19 / 20 June will be rewarded with a M&S money off voucher.

Shwopping is a revolutionary clothes recycling initiative that has seen 10.6 million items (worth £7.25 million) of used or unwanted pieces of clothing donated in M&S or Oxfam stores across the UK since 2012. In Bristol alone, approximately 87,000 items have been Shwopped. All items collected at M&S stores are re-sold, re-used or recycled by Oxfam – M&S’ Shwopping partner – raising crucial funds for its work fighting poverty around the world.

On day two Bristolians will be invited to get creative, focusing on refashioning and upcycling to transform unwanted garments into wardrobe staples or even household items. The event will culminate with an alteration challenge competition open to amateur sewists, which will be hosted and judged by yours truly, before a Q&A session. To register interest, please email plana@marks-and-spencer.com.

  • 3:30 – 5:30pm – Refashion Challenge competition

  • 5:30 – 6:00pm – Judging

  • 6:00 – 7:00pm – ‘Inspiring Sewists’: talk and drinks reception with Matt Chapple, Great British Sewing Bee series 3 winner

When and where

The Shwop & Sew Lab, located in the Bristol Broadmead M&S store on the ground floor, will be open to the public from 12 – 7pm on Friday 19 June, and 10:30am – 7pm on Saturday 20 June, and there will be an opportunity to watch sewers at work from a viewing area. Workshops will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. All workshops and materials are provided free of charge, thanks to Prym, Pfaff and Gutterman. The two-day event is open to everyone, free of charge, from those with no experience, to skilled sewers.

If you are looking for some ideas on how you can start to upcycle your wardrobe check out the following articles:

Turning an old shirt into a re-useable shirt pattern

A guide on how to shortening jeans

Jacket sleeve alteration

Upcycle a plain Jumper into something a little more individual

Turn old jeans into denim mini skirt

The full Bristol Shwop & Sew Lab – Schedule:
Friday 19 June

  • 9:00 – 10:30am – Tote bag making class with Delia/Erica from Flojo Bristol (Session 1)

  • 10:30am – 12pm – Tote bag making class with Delia/Erica from Flojo Bristol (Session 2)

  • 12:00 – 2pm – Drop in Lunch & Learn sessions: How to sew a button by hand / how to hem a pair of trousers without a sewing machine with Tamara Melvin Great British Sewing Bee Series 2 finalist.

  • 2:00 – 2:30pm – Sewing Surgery (come and ask our specialist any sewing related questions)

  • 2:30 – 3:30pm – Hemming Jeans workshop with Claire-Louise Hardie, sewing producer of the Great British Sewing Bee and author of Fashion with Fabrics. This workshop has limited spaces, which will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis.

  • 3:30 – 4:00pm – Sewing Surgery (come and ask our specialist any sewing related questions)

  • 4:00 – 6pm – Repairs Masterclass (choose a garment from our Oxfam rail in need of repair; Claire Louise Hardie will teach you how to fix it and you can take it home for free)

  • 6 – 7pm – Inspiring Sewists: talk and drinks reception with Claire-Louise Hardie, sewing producer of the Great British Sewing Bee.

Saturday 20 June

  • 9:00 – 11am – Learn patchwork and upcycle those scraps into a pot holder with Maria from Café Sewciety Bristol

  • 11:00 – 11:30am – Sewing Surgery (come and ask our specialist any sewing related questions)

  • 11:30am – 1:00pm – Beginners refashion (T-shirt to infinity scarf)

  • 1:00 – 1:30pm – Sewing Surgery (come and ask our specialist any sewing related questions)

  • 1:30 – 3:00pm – Intermediate refashion (T-shirt to shirred skirt)

  • 3:30 – 5:30pm – Refashion Challenge competition

  • 5:30 – 6:00pm – Judging

  • 6:00 – 7:00pm – ‘Inspiring Sewists’: talk and drinks reception with Matt Chapple, Great British Sewing Bee series 3 winner

Hope to see you on Saturday 20th June

Matt ChappleMatt

The stitcher. A magnet for foolery & prankster at heart. Loves being creative, whether with some wood and a saw or with a needle and thread. Attempts to disguise his past time activities as manly pursuits, but is actually pretty handy at sewing!

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