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East meets West as re-used fashion hits the catwalk

• Sewing workshops held to encourage textiles re-use and recycling

• Your old and unused clothes wanted for Liverpool Fashion Week

A Merseyside community group has been helping stitch together eastern and western cultures by creating bespoke fashion pieces whilst teaching local people valuable sewing skills.

Liverpool-based environmental transformation charity Faiths4Change delivered the ‘East Meets West’ project to raise the profile of clothes and textiles re-use and recycling and to help reduce the amount of material sent to landfill.

The concept was to task women from different world faith communities in Merseyside to produce fashionable bags combining denim jeans with material from traditional sari dress, bringing together both eastern and western cultures.

Educational workshops were delivered at Asylum Link Merseyside and taught twelve women with different levels experience the sewing skills to produce the bags.

Faiths4Change supports faith communities from across the North West to enable their members and other local residents to work together. Annie Merry, Chief Associate Project Manager, said: “This project provided an opportunity to bring together and explore a greater understanding of cultural differences and perceptions to textile recycling and re-use. The project provided skills and confidence and encouraged those involved to get sewing again!”

The scheme was funded by Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA), which is also the main sponsor of a vintage clothing and re-used textiles catwalk show at Liverpool Fashion Week this coming Thursday (18th October). The newly created denim/sari bags will go on display at the Show on the night.

Around 22,000 tonnes of clothes and textiles from Merseyside ends up in landfill every year and MRWA is spearheading several initiatives to put an end to this waste, including setting up the Merseyside Textile Forum with several local charities.

In conjunction with British Heart Foundation MRWA is also encouraging people to bring their unused and old clothes to Liverpool Fashion Week, where they’ll go on to be re-used and recycled.

Councillor Joe DeAsha, Chairperson of MRWA, said: “If people have clothes they don’t wear or items in disrepair then one option is to create something new out of them – anecdotal evidence shows that sewing as a hobby and sewing machines sales are on the rise. Basically, there are many preferable options to do something with your clothing than send it to landfill.”

Carl Beer, Chief Executive of MRWA, said: “By funding schemes like this, getting involved in a vintage night at Liverpool Fashion Week and setting up the Textile Forum we are getting our message out there that just because you have clothes you don’t wear doesn’t mean that somebody else won’t want them, or that the material can’t be used for something else.”

Faiths4Change has also created an instructional video on how to transform old pairs of jeans and saris into bags, which can be viewed here –


Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (formerly Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority) is responsible for the disposal of municipal waste on Merseyside. Established in 1986 following the abolition of Merseyside County Council, it is a statutory Authority that works with all the local authorities on Merseyside – Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral. MRWA takes a lead in advocating recycling, waste minimisation and safe and effective disposal of waste for Merseyside’s residents.

For more information members of the media should contact:

John Lally
PR & Communications Officer
Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority
Tel. 0151 255 2568