Lewisham residents are being invited to visit a hub being set up this month to help people make the most of old clothing.
Fronted by fashion designer Karen Arthur, the ‘Make Do and Mend’ initiative throughout April offers top tips videos and free drop-in sessions at the We Are Lewisham hub.
The event culminates in a fashion show of modified and recycled clothes to be held in Lewisham Shopping Centre on Friday, April 29.
Anyone can drop in and learn how to give old clothes a new lease of life. All equipment – including sewing machines – is provided, but participants are welcome to bring their own material, if they wish.
The end-of-month show gives inventive designers an opportunity to showcase their creations by hitting the catwalk themselves, or by having them modelled by someone else.
Children are encouraged to get creative too, and throughout the Easter holidays are invited to drop into the hub, (if accompanied) where they will learn how to sew by adding fabrics and other items to a pre-loved coat.
Their handiwork will also be displayed in the catwalk show.
Ms Arthur said: “Fashion is all about self-expression. It should be fun and feel-good but without costing us the earth.
“Most of us have outfits languishing in the backs of cupboards and bottom of drawers that haven’t seen the light of day in years.
“Perhaps they’re broken, don’t fit or have gone out of fashion. Rather than binning them and adding to the millions of tons of clothes already on landfill – let’s make, do and mend.
“I’m so excited to be part of the April Fashion Challenge. I hope it will inspire people to learn new skills and get creative.
“I can’t wait to share the tips and tricks I’ve picked up with my fellow residents and to see all their glorious creations on the catwalk at the end of the month.”
Paul Reden, centre director of Lewisham Shopping Centre, said: “We are pleased to welcome the We Are Lewisham hub to the centre, as part of the (Mayor of London-funded) London Borough of Culture 2022 celebrations.
“We are confident that our guests will enjoy the free drop-in sessions and we are looking forward to seeing the final designs at the fashion show.”
Pictured top: Karen Arthur