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Did you know British citizens discard a million tonnes of textiles every year! We're on a mission to bring our worn out, damaged, and use fabrics back into use at our Preloved Studio - a hub for textiles waste reduction in Mitcham.
Source: Environmental Audit Committee
The Problem with Textiles Waste
"Textiles have a high carbon impact, so reducing the number of new clothing items bought every year could achieve a 66% reduction in emissions from the clothing industry." - Merton Council Climate Strategy and Action Plan
Shockingly, the fashion industry is responsible for more carbon emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. The UN reports, “according to the European Environment Agency, textile purchases in the EU in 2020 generated about 270 kg of CO2 emissions per person. That means textile products consumed in the EU generated greenhouse gas emissions of 121 million tonnes.”
But we can do something to change this. Research by Waste and Resources Action Program (WRAP), shows extending the average life of clothes by just three months of active use per item would lead to a 5 to 10 % reduction in carbon, water and waste footprints. Repairing a favourite item of clothing that has become damaged, or altering clothing to fit better can save money and resources, and prevent environmental damage. This is the philosophy of a circular economy, and the aim of our Preloved Studio.
Since launching in May 2023, the Preloved Studio has been run in partnership with local CIC Little A.R.K. The Studio, based at Canons House, Mitcham, is the home of community workshops and weekly drop-in sessions for Merton residents to learn skills to reduce textiles waste and avoid fast fashion. The Studio also has residency places for local, circular, slow fashion and textiles reuse start-ups.
Social Sewing Drop-ins
We host social sewing drop-in sessions every Tuesday. These sessions are facilitated by Little ARK. Bring along a sewing project you're working on, or volunteer to make draught excluders for use in the community. Take a look at all our drop-in dates below.
We're building a circular economy right here in Mitcham by offering residency spaces to local sustainable fashion or textiles start-ups. Current residents are Little ARK and RE-RUNN. We're looking for a 3rd resident business to join us. If that could be you, contact us using the link below.
We host free community workshops at the Preloved Studio, facilitated by skilled Merton residents with textiles industry experience. Our past workshops have included Project Preloved sessions, Creative Mending, and Basic Alterations. Check out our events page for the next ones.
Get Inspired at the Preloved Studio
Preloved Studio News
How to find the Preloved Studio
The Preloved Studio is based in the beautifully restored Canons House in Mitcham.
There is free parking at Canons grounds, as well as bicycle racks and nearby bus stops.
If attending a workshop or drop-in session, head to the Canons House main entrance and ring the buzzer.
Which type of waste will you reduce next?
So many types of materials can be recirculated to save energy, resources, and money, reducing carbon emissions along the way. Explore how you can reduce waste from furniture, tech and electricals, food, packaging and construction.
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