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Newsletter - March 2024



Hi,


We're maybe a big ahead of ourselves today but there's an interesting initiative coming up next month that caught our eye.  By highlighting it now we might give you enough notice to get yourself organised and participate.  Please let us know if you do!


Six Items April


The idea behind Six Items April is actually very simple, but we think it provides a real challenge.  You will no doubt find it difficult on a practical level, but it will almost certainly also get you thinking about fast fashion, which is something we would always recommend.  Fast Fashion is such a huge issue in the battle against climate change, and one that we have the power to influence every time we choose what to wear.


The challenge has been organised by Labour Behind the Label, a campaigning group that works to improve conditions and empower workers in the global garment industry.


So, what's the challenge then?


Select six items of clothing from your wardrobe and pledge to wear only these every day for the month of April.  Don't worry, you can have unlimited access to underwear, accessories and footwear and you don't have to include your gym wear or uniform in your six.  So, it's your main items of clothing - trousers, shirts, dresses, tops, skirts, jumpers or cardigans - that must remain the same throughout the month.


Interesting, eh?



What we wear says so much about us and most of us feel it gives us our identity.  Some people, of course, own very few clothes due to impoverished circumstances, so those of us fortunate enough to have a full wardrobe should be aware that choosing to give up wearing the majority of of clothes for a month is a luxury not available to everyone.  Nevertheless, many of us are aware that we own far too many clothes and maybe even considering this challenge - but not actually taking part -  is enough to make us think again before buying anything new.


Don't forget, of course, that it's not just in developing countries that garment workers are routinely exploited.  Leicester remains the main capital of the UK garment industry.  Thousands of workers are employed there and, while there was some improvement, following recent investigations, those workers are still not treated well.



What's Happening Elsewhere in Dundee



Starter Packs is another of those wonderful organisations that quietly gets on with helping local people, often at a time when they really need help most. Thanks to dedicated volunteers and generous donations it is able to assist individuals and families who are about to take on a tenancy but do not have basic household goods.  It allows people to start turning their house into a home and often to rebuild their lives. Some of its referrals are for young people leaving the care system, or for familes that have separated, or people who have had to leave quickly and have few belongings.Imagine how lovely is must be for them to receive a box lovingly put together, containing the likes of 

  • crockery and cutlery

  • pots and pans

  • bedding, towels and curtains

  • a kettle, toaster, iron and vacuum cleaner


Starter Packs also includes a bag of essential toiletries and we're delighted to say that we are able to help with that - and so can you.  We will be making drawstring bags to put the toiletries in at a couple of sewing sessions this month.  They are very simple to make and, of course, we will be there to help you, but if you're not a confident sewer, perhaps you would consider coming along to cut out the fabric.  That would help our sewers enormously and you know what they say, many hands make light work.  We'd love to make as many bags as possible to hand over.  Have a look at our What's On section for the dates.


For more information on the work of Starter Packs visit  https://www.starterpackdundee.org.uk/



What's On





Man and Machine

Wednesdays 6th and 13th March

6 - 8 pm

A two-week course aimed at men, though women are also welcome.Suitable for complete beginners. We'll get you confident with a needle and thread and a sewing machine then show you how to turn cargo pants into an apron or tool belt.

Book your place here





Reuseable Period Pads

Thursday 7th March

6 - 8 pm

As part of Dundee Women's Festival, we'll be talking about alternatives to throwaway period products and making our own resueable pads

Book your place here





Make Drawstring Bags for Starter Packs

Saturdays 16th and 23rd March

10 - 11 am and 11.30 - 12.30 am

Come along for an hour and sew in good company.  Only basic sewing skills required, but if you don't feel you can do even that, come and help us cut out the fabric or thread through the drawstrings

Book your place here




Make Your Own Jewellery

Friday 29th March

12.30 - 2 pm

Rummage through our old and broken jewellery and we'll help you to turn it into something special.  Feel free to bring a packed lunch to this one

Book your place here




TransitionKnit : every Wednesday morning 

9.30 – 10.30 am

Our informal knitting group is open to everyone, whether you are a complete beginner or have been knitting for more years than you care to remember.





Threads on Thursday : every Thursday

12 – 2 pm

Our drop-in sewing group, also open to everyone.  Come along if you would like to learn to sew, if you need any help or if you would just like to sew in the company of like-minded people. No booking necessary.  

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