Sew Ready, a newly founded social enterprise has been set up in Lisburn with a goal to engage the local community in sewing classes and sustainable clothing swaps.
Making its debut at Market Square, the clothing swap offers a range of brand new and pre-loved clothing at an outside trendy market stall. Attendees are encouraged to ‘Bring Three, Swap Three’ in an attempt to update their wardrobe in an environmentally friendly way.
Clothing at the new swap shop can also be purchased with a donation. All proceeds to the event are reinvested into the community through Sew Ready’s various sewing classes and creative textile art workshops. It’s founded and run by lifelong sewist and degree-trained pattern maker/ designer, Sarah Hoppe.
Sarah runs local sewing workshops for all ages through this new business venture; her second enterprise. Textile education of the younger generation ensures that an appreciation for traditional craft skills is kept alive and fosters a sense of conscious consumerism as we teach children to consider where their clothing is coming from.
As Sew Ready expands they intend to run creative workshops for a range of audiences. This will include projects such as intergenerational skill swapping and gardening-based projects to bring community groups close and combat loneliness.
The concept of a clothing swap is also a community led way of supporting each other during the ongoing cost of living crisis. Sarah intends to run the clothing swap every six weeks in Lisburn city centre and hopes to extend the clothing exchange to include school uniforms. As living expenses soar, gently used clothing at incredibly affordable prices will be a huge help to many.
Speaking at the event at Lisburn Market Square, Sarah said “It was so great seeing everyone take part in our first clothing swap. It’s an easy and great way for anyone to engage and do their bit for the environment by keeping a circular fashion model.
We intend to offer a clothing repair service in the near future alongside the swap so as we can encourage wearing for longer. Through this we hope to help communities uphold the integrity of fashion, take care of their clothing and in turn positively affect change for the environment.”