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New 'upcycling' project to help the homeless

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

The Brett Foundation and Craft Coop have come up with a creative way to clean out wardrobes for the new year and raise money for the homeless all in one.

The foundation often receives donations of clothes – but finds not all of them can be used.

With limited storage space, the charity must pass clothes on and some of them end up in landfill.

The Re-Nu Project, brainchild of director Susan Brett, seeks to make good use of these clothes instead, at a time when The Brett Foundation has faced a significant loss of income.

“I thought, wouldn’t it be good if we could make our own clothes from the ones we have had donated – make them more up-to-date and fashionable and then sell them,” said Susan.

With the help of designers and seamstresses from Craft Coop and the surrounding community, Susan hopes to put together a collection of unique fashion and homewares upcycled from clothing and other donated textiles.

These will be sold in Craft Coop with profits going back to The Brett Foundation.

Eventually the hope is to teach others sewing skills so that they can also make items for the project – including the long-term unemployed and people who have difficulty working in traditional jobs.

To launch the project, Craft Coop and The Brett Foundation have created the Re-Nu Sewing Challenge, inviting the public to create a new item of clothing or homeware from a dress shirt.

Other fabric and embellishments (preferably from old clothing) can be included. The resulting item must be wearable or usable.

Photos of the item should be sent to by February 1.

Voting will take place between February 1-7, and winners will be announced the following week.

Winners will receive vouchers for shopping online and for use in the Craft Coop shops when they reopen, along with an invitation to sell their products as part of the Re-Nu Project.

For more information contact Craft Coop by email at the address above or see the Re-Nu Project event page on Facebook:

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