We held our first major Studio Sale in May, to showcase our treasure trove of donated items and clear space for new items.
During the week before, we also found a new purpose for holding the studio sale, as both of our overlockers (which were donated to us some time ago) broke down, and we urgently needed to find the money to replace them.
To support our sale, Fi and Desi, our two board members who are also amazing designers, joined us with samples of their work. We also had Lucy from Fabric Drop with a selection of her remnants and notions.
Preparation for the sale was a lot of work, taking over a week to fast-track sorting; pull out items usually buried in the back of cupboards; and pack away our usual studio machines and equipment to make room to display everything.
We had well over 60 people attend, and all left with smiling faces and fresh ideas for projects they wanted to make.
Exciting that after the dust settled, we found we had raised just over $1,300 towards replacing our overlockers!
After researching options, we purchased 2 new singer overlockers from spotlight (yay of 50% off sales!).
We also had enough money to have some of our donated sewing machines fully serviced and repaired - just in time for our pop-up shop where we needed every machine we had in top working order!
To everyone who came and contributed (volunteers and customers), a huge THANK YOU!
Already these machines have been used by many, and will keep being enjoyed for many years to come.
Our 4KT Elephants project had a fantastic launch with our Environment Envoy pop-up... but that's just the beginning! We still have over 3,000 elephants to go to reach our goal.
We have also been contacted by many people and businesses offering fabrics and stuffing (to the point that our storage space is overflowing into every nook and cranny we can find!) .
Our regular group of volunteers on Thursday mornings, who for the last 2 years have been making our amazing Bags For Good bags, are now helping us use this abundance to prepare and sew elephants. It's slightly different (no straight lines for one thing!), but we have new people joining us nearly every week. Everyone chooses what they are comfortable with, and we have some volunteers who don't sew, and some who don't cut out, and it works very well. If you are available any Thursday between 10am-1pm, do pop into our studio and see what we're up to.
As the funding we received from the DCC for the pop-up has now been exhausted, we are thinking of new ways to cover our ongoing costs to complete our 4000 goal. We are also offering to take on commissions for elephants for anyone unable to make them for themselves. We can make them from fabrics or items you have, or you can let us know colour preferences. These are $20 each.
Our patterns for the three sizes of elephants are available to download from our website, and we will happily send out our instructions and labels to anyone who would like them. If you would like to make elephants, for yourself or for us, do contact us and we can arrange for all the necessary bits and bobs to get to you.
These have been accessed by many people so far, locally in Dunedin, but also from throughout NZ, as individuals, teachers and community groups pick up on the popularity of our elephants. These are being made as keepsakes from special garments or fabrics; gifts for family and friends; and many are making their way back to us to add to our collection being donated to Tedz4Kidz.
We started believing the elephants represented our hope that waste can be seen as a resource; that everyone in the community can become involved in change; and to bring love and encouragement to those who have been through tough times. The elephants are taking on more significance as we hear many stories of them being given to new parents; to children in hospital; to elderly friends going into care; and to friends going through the loss of a family member; as auction items to raise money for breast cancer... and so many more!
We look forward to sharing more stories with you as the project continues!
New Volunteers Welecome!
Thursday mornings, 10am-1pm
@Stitch Kitchen, 88 Vogel Street
Or you're welcome to drop in and collect labels, and anything else you may need to make them at home.
Please feel free contact us if you have any questions
The response we've had to our 4KT Elephants environment envoy pop-up project has been amazing!
We had over 350 people through on the 10 days we opened our pop-up space, from May 31st - June 16th. From opening to closing (and often after our official closing time!) we had roughly 20 people in the space, including all ages, all backgrounds; all enjoying the chance to get creative and work together in a warm, bright space we created from a long dis-used retail space.
It was fabulous seeing parents bringing in their children and helping them with their very first sewing project. (Elephants are quite challenging for beginners, but the attraction of making their own elephant was so strong that they persevered and achieved their goal!)
Many people came back each weekend to make more elephants as gifts for friends and family or to donate to Tedz4Kidz. We also had people requesting our special individually numbered labels, to take home to add to elephants they were making from their own scrap fabrics.
Groups from Otago Girls and Dunedin City Council also joined us, as a team building volunteer activity.
Over 300 elephants we made in store (with another 200 labels taken or sent away for elephants to be made), using approximately 90kgs of textile 'waste'.
We also had a huge number of people stop and look at our amazing window display, created by Fiona Clements (Senorita Awesumo), showcasing what 85kgs of textiles (the equivalent weight of textiles thrown out each year per household) looks like - giving some idea of how enormous the issue of textile waste in Dunedin is.
Posters we had commissioned by Jess Newton of Dust and Dandelions, also helped to inform everyone who visited how this waste is created and what impact it has - not 'somewhere far away', but right here where we live.
Posters also shared our top 5 tips for reducing textile waste:
Many visitors took photos of our posters as reminders of simple things they can keep doing on a regular basis to help us cut our landfill waste and carbon emissions.
News, updates and things we find inspiring, from Dunedin's Stitch Kitchen