Thinking Globally but Acting Locally

Raggy Robin Environmental Policy

(Ways in which we try to help the environment here at the Sewing Room)

  • Our¬†main aim is to teach people to sew and not to waste fabric and resources in the process.
  • Students¬†are actively encouraged to keep scrap fabric for future smaller projects.
  • Any usable fabric discarded in the bin at the end of a class is removed and kept for further use. (Students are made aware that we do this).
  • Scrap fabric is used for patchwork and appliqu√©.

Saving our scraps to turn into other projects

  • Long strips are kept for a lady who turns it into fabric string¬†or fabric twine.
  • Lengthy pieces of unused thread are kept for small hand sewing jobs or putting into kits.
  • Classes to teach people how to use up fabric remnants include:

            РMonthly patch clubs

            РA range of quilt courses / classes

            РBinding course

            РEPP (English Paper Piecing) class, (this uses up waste paper and card too)

            РAppliqué lessons

            РStitchery lessons (pictures are stitched onto fabric remnants)

            РHow to make fabric stamps and envelopes

  • Other occasional classes to encourage the re-purposing of fabric include:


            РRepairs and Alterations

            РUpcycling course

            РTote bag / shopping bag class (to be used instead of plastic bags)


  • We actively encourage people to recycle old fabric / curtains / clothes at the classes. We do the same when we provide fabric at the machine introduction class (for students to use when they make a project).
  • Charity shop use is also encouraged for finding good fabric and supplies to use (from the recycled clothes).
  • Empty jars and boxes are taken home to be recycled.
  • Waste paper is reused where possible for writing notes and lists on the back or for the EPP classes.
  • Packed lunches are brought in reusable boxes and milk is brought in each day in glass, screw top bottles.
  • The use of cleaning chemicals is kept to a minimum. The rooms are kept free of dust by using warm, soapy water and dried with a tea towel. Only a little ‘Domestos’ is occasionally used in the drains.
  • With plastic cutlery already acquired from various places, we use it, wash it and reuse again.
  • Apart from lighting, kettle boiling and sewing machine operation, the only electricity required is when the class need to iron. Then the irons are switched off as soon as they are finished with.

Future Environmental Plans

  • For small to medium purchases, paper bags are currently used for sales and for larger items we use plastic bags, but once our stock¬†of¬†plastic bags have been used we are switching to large paper bags too.
  • We also use pedal bin liners, (or old shopping bags), for general waste. So we are also trying to think of¬†an alternative to these? However, as we produce such little waste each day, we only fill one pedal bin liner, every 2-3 days.
  • If ever it was readily available and affordable, organic cotton would be used instead of non-organic, if there was a good choice of colour and patterns too, (but I can’t see this being available anytime soon unfortunately).


Can you suggest anything else we haven’t thought of? Leave a comment below.


“Trying to make a difference”

Sharon Robins 2018