I established 7 organisation’s values, the key one is in the centre: New Life for Discarded Garments and Fabrics (Re-Sparkling).
I believe that all garments, all fabrics deserve a second chance, a second life. And this is what I give them.
I think that if we look after all garments that have been produced up to date, it will be enough for us to live comfortably for the next decade or even longer.
As an example, a pair of jeans takes around 2500-3000 gals of water to produce, and then there are chemicals that are being washed away. It is always good to look at a pair of jeans in a different way and see what potential it has and find a possibility to extend its life.
I encourage people to buy pre-loved or vintage. If you don’t see something you like in a charity shop, this is not an ‘end-of-story’. These are all amazing items with ‘to-be-continued’ stories, and great potential to bring you endless joy. All you need to do is simply add your creativity and imagination.
Teaching What I Love
It is a great blessing to be able to teach something that I love and am passionate about. I teach in many different environments, adjusting to the customer needs: online, face to face groups, corporate team building sessions, community learning, and bespoke 1-2-1 sessions.
During my 15-year corporate career, I was creating and constantly improving company policies and procedures. This experience of structuring my knowledge and skills, allowed me to develop and teach learning modules, to allow them to be shared in a relaxed and easy to digest manner.
At the same time, I encourage my students to generate their own ideas, produce their own designs and allow their self-expression to flourish, which is an important part of learning. This allows them to be creative with their own clothes, using their tools and skills in different ways.
This achieves wonderful results.
Inspiring & Leading Others, Community Work
I was so humbled to know that one of my students (a 10-year-old girl) asked her mum for a sewing machine for Christmas last year. She was so excited to come to my classes and work on new projects!
In February, I developed an idea to have a sewing gig ‘Guys’n’Stitches’ around the country, where I will show basic sewing techniques, clothing upcycling, and give away basic sewing kits. A key objective is to give talks about fast fashion and its harm. The amazing support is continually growing!
I also encourage people to pledge going for 200 days without buying new clothes: #200daysthatmatter.
On reaching this goal, many understand which habits are not beneficial, and also the liberating experience it brings.
I love sharing tips and ideas on what can be done with clothing. I love sparking action in others. Small steps in the right direction can bring us big changes, pride and satisfaction. This first small step is key.
Mental Wellness & Mindfulness
Sashiko stitching in Japan was considered a skill that helps to improve patience and perseverance. Nowadays, Sashiko is a slow stitching technique that helps us to relax, to be mindful.
Any type of hand stitching is called a ‘stitching meditation’.
The benefits of hand stitching on our mental wellness (and any handcrafts in general) are widely discussed and proved. I mention it to my students a lot as well.
Just imagine, how liberating it would be to stop trying to keep up with the latest fashion trends, to be on a constant treadmill of buying and disposing of the clothing.
Following this pattern puts unnecessary pressure on people.
Imagine the difference it makes to be able to mend your garments, upcycle and restyle them in the way you like. The way you like – not what someone else tells to like.
Can you see the difference? Imagine these ‘Wow’ moments from your family and friends when showing off your skills and projects? The sense of accomplishment, and pride?
Embracing Different Cultures
We have an amazing heritage of skills, knowledge and techniques from different cultures. It is worth preserving them, developing them in our own way, adding our tweaks and twists.
Sashiko and Boro stitching in Japan, Kantha Stitching in India, to name a few. It is worth to explore and experiment what artisans have been doing for centuries around the world.
Our own interpretation of these skills and techniques will give us amazing and unexpected results. ‘Mix and match’ with different techniques and tools will give us something new as well.
Experimenting and curiosity will kindle our creativity and imagination. Let’s play!
From Textile Art to Wearable Art
Durability is an important aspect of my designs. At the same time I make sure the garments that I make are unique, comfortable and functional.
I love learning about textile art techniques and applying them to what I do. Brave experiments bring great results.
Clothes should not be boring. They are created to bring us joy every time we wear them.
They inspire us to achieve more. I love it when my items encourage people to talk to me about the clothing I wear. I aim to make my garments in a way that they are ‘conversation starters’, ‘ice breakers’, or even ‘show-stoppers’. This is art, and it is magical.
I use different techniques to decorate my garments. I love combining different fabrics as well and experiment with colours. Textile art techniques have great potential in clothing upcycling.
Continual Professional Development
“What we learn with pleasure – we never forget.”
Alfred Mercier 1816-1894
Curiosity is the fuel for discovery, enquiry and learning.
Learning and development are never ending.
I am always researching, learning, discovering and experimenting. This is an ongoing and enjoyable process. I am able to give more to my students and followers when I learn more. I love learning and experimenting, so I can teach others the best bits!
I am happy to receive a feedback as well. Feedback is important for improvement, growth and development in the right direction. How will we know what our customer wants? Ask, ask, ask. I value the feedback.