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Traid “Sew Good” Workshop

By admin — June 21, 2012

On Tuesday, the Hijablicious team including our mama 🙂 went along to a ‘Traid: Sew Good” workshop, in conjunction with our local council.


Traid (Textile Recycling for Aid and International Development) is a charity that does what it says on the tin. It helps encourage recycling our endless amount of clothing that we consume,  sell them (or remake prior to selling) in one of the 10 charity shops they have around London (Queensway, Shepherds Bush etc). This is what the objectives of TRAID are:

  • To protect the environment by diverting clothes and shoes from landfill;
  • To reduce world poverty by raising funds for overseas development projects; and
  • To educate the UK public on environmental and world poverty issues.

The class in action

The Sew Good’ workshop was free for the local community which was great and are aimed to ‘to help people take control of their wardrobe and extend the life of their clothes by teaching basic mending, adjusting and remaking  skills.’
We were all asked to bring 2-3 items that we wanted to change or alter. Between us we brought a shirt, some scarves, and a tunic. I brought one of my old shirts from ASOS, which I hadn’t worn in a while because even though its my size its really big, and the neck was slightly odd. 

Traid staff member helping cut out the shape of a tunic for a participant.

The workshop had facilitators who were on hand to show us how to use a sewing machine, do basic stitching, cut out shapes and there was a big box of lace, buttons and other things we could add onto our items. The class was full and with a good mix of different women, young and old all willing to learn and do their bit for environment.
So this is the shirt from ASOS:

Before-As you can see it hardly has any shape, and also the next tie is really long and a bit annoying

Firstly, I tucked in the waist a bit on the sewing machine, then chopped of the long neck tie to make a small collar. Then I found a lovely beaded neck collar which I sewed onto the shirt. I didn’t get time to finish it as it took me a while to get all that done.


My sister found plain scarves that she had and sewed lace onto the end which ended up looking pretty good too but unfortunately we didn’t get to take any pictures. 

Adding lace strip to a plain scarf

Mama Jaan hard at work adding beads to her tunic.

Getting to grips with threading the machine.

Overall, we had a really good time but more importantly it really made us focus on sustainability, eco-fashion and finding creative ways to make our clothes last longer, and also look original. We are huge fans of vintage clothing, but this is way to make your own clothing look unique.

Traid work really hard to change our attitudes towards clothing, and also help global development.

So is there anything you can do to help?

  1. See if you can get together with your friends, bring all the accessories you have and see if you can find ways to make to remake some items. 
  2. Even better if there is someone who has sewing skills who you know, find a few hours in the day to learn from them, and use those basic skills to teach others.
  3. Add your unwanted clothes to clothing banks or donate to charity shops.
  4. Shop from vintage and charity shops and give your wardrobe a original kick while helping a cause, it really does make you feel like your shopping was worth it .

Find our more about the Traid, Wear Poverty Out Campaign Here

Do you have any of your own tips? Do share! 🙂

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