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Preloved Studio Opens to the Community

Launch ceremony for the Preloved Studio with Sustainable Merton, Canons House, the Mayor of Merton and Little ARK.

With the high environmental cost of producing new fabrics and garments, it's more important than ever to reduce textiles waste. The Environmental Audit Committee reported that British citizens alone discard a million tonnes of textiles every year. While many clothes are donated to UK charities, around 300,000 tonnes of clothing still end up in household bins with around 20% of this going to landfill and 80% incinerated every year. With The Wheel, Sustainable Merton’s waste reduction capacity building project, we are making moves to change the way we think about our clothes, and to share the skills needed to value the materials we already have.

Introducing the Preloved Studio

On Saturday we launched our Preloved Studio, a local hub for textiles waste reduction and circular textiles initiatives. Located inside the beautiful, historic, and recently renovated Canons House in Mitcham, this is a fully equipped social sewing hub with domestic and industrial sewing machines, and a cutting room. The studio has been fitted out with a cutting table and storage using all reclaimed scrap timber and made cosy with upcycled soft furnishings from our Canons House Upcycling project, keeping our carbon footprint and waste low even before opening!

The launch ceremony was a huge celebration of preloved textiles. The Mayor of Merton, Gill Manly, ward councillor for Cricket Green in Mitcham where the Preloved Studio is located, officiated the opening by cutting a ribbon made from fabric scraps.

The Mayor shared, “I’m a huge believer in recycling and upcycling, I’ve practiced it all my life, and right here is a project that exemplifies the best in encouraging creativity and reuse of materials instead of going to landfill.” You can watch the video of the ribbon cutting and our interview with the Mayor on The Wheel’s Instagram page.

Local residents were invited to picnic in the grounds of Canons House and to tour the studio space. Preloved textiles projects by local makers were on display, from quilting to creative visible mending of children’s clothes were on display.

Beautiful examples of what can be done with preloved textiles on display at Canons House during the launch event.

The Resident Businesses Tackling Textiles Waste

The launch event was beautifully coordinated by our deliver partner, Little ARK, a local Community Interest Company (CIC) focused on building a textiles reuse community in Merton. Little ARK are one of two resident businesses in the Preloved Studio. Resident businesses are start-ups working in textiles waste reduction circular textiles, who can use the space to build their business to become sustainable.

The second of our resident businesses is local sustainable fashion start-up, RE-RUNN. RE-RUNN are creating one-off striking leisurewear pieces in their first collection. They work in partnership with local hospice charity shops to buy unsold or damaged sweatshirts, reworking and reimagining them into beautiful new garments. They also donate 10% of their sales to the charities too.

If you run a start-up focused on circular fashion or textiles waste reduction and are interested in a residency at the Preloved Studio, get in touch at

RE-RUNN share examples of their first collection with visitors at the launch event.

Free Workshops Coming Soon

We plan for the Preloved Studio to be a welcoming space where you can learn about all things, sewing, mending, upcycling, reusing, and repairing textiles - essential skills to reduce the environmental impacts of textiles manufacturing and fast fashion.

Take a look at our events page for a list of upcoming free workshops and drop-in sessions. We hope to see you there!

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