Friday, 18 November 2011

War on Waste

Waste not, Want not, Keep Calm and Carry On, Dig for Victory.

All recession friendly phrases from eras past.  And with Christmas slap bang in the middle of this period of financial uncertainty you can literally hear the sound of the end of year pay packets being stretched the accommodate yet another festive season: food, drink, party clothes, travel, presents, parties. So how can we really make our money go further?

You’ve heard the experts – cut down on non-essential items, switch your credit cards to 0% interest. Even David Cameron has been urging the Great British Public to pay off their credit cards. I don’t know if Visa accepts carrots but that seems to be all I have after my dig for victory.

But are we thinking about this the wrong way round? Is it about making what little cash may be floating around work harder? Or do we really need to spend any cash at all?

During the Second World War there was the phrase ‘make do and mend’. This call to action urged people to re-use their clothes by mending them. Socks were darned countless times over, trousers turned into shorts, curtains made into clothes. In a time when a) Hitler was rampaging across Europe and b) landfill was not an option, inhabitants of our fair island celebrated what they had and got the most wear out of their clothes as possible re-using and re-working as the Blitz raged.

Re-using passed out of our culture with man-made fabrics flooding the market from the 1970’s and the fast fashion culture which sprung up in the 1990’s. But if you have ever bought anything second hand or a vintage item then you have re-used without giving it much thought. If you have ever borrowed anything from your mate/ Mum / colleague then you are re-using. In most cases it’s easier than buying new. And it’s cheaper to boot!

Recycle for Greater Manchester is showcasing a wealth of events promoting re-using which will feed your brain and get you salivating over skills you never thought you could learn: sewing, cooking, furniture reclamation.  I got kicked out of sewing class for breaking the needle on the sewing machine when I was at school so I will be beating down the door of the sewing workshop to finish mastering the skills the sewing teacher (Mrs Turner) so wrongfully refused to teach me. And then there is the Fashion Show!! Saturday 26th November. Get your glad rags on, surgically adhere your biggest ‘I’m famous’ sunglasses to your face  and elbow your way to the Front Row.

All events are FREE. Yes, FREE. You will only need your bus money to get there and maybe you can car share on the way home. Just sign up in advance to be guaranteed a place. See you for some sewing.

For more info click here! Recycle for Greater Manchester

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