Swishing at The Making House


Joelle Harris our former sewing expert explains why we swish

We all love to have new clothes to wear, but what does it cost?  The cost to us in financial terms, to the environment and those people who work in the industry.

There are lots of things to consider from the production of textiles, like growing cotton and making polyester, and all the alternatives.  The labour that goes into making our clothes, we have all heard about sweat shops and child labour.  Then there is what we do with the clothes once we have finished with them.

Maybe that’s why we tend to hang on to what is in our wardrobes, we think, I paid good money for that, I shouldn’t just throw it away.  Fortunately there are events now, like our swishing event, where the things in your wardrobe that are still in good condition can be swapped guilt free for something you would actually wear.


For those things that you have actually worn out, don’t bin it! It will end up in landfill, along with about 80% of Britian’s textile waste.  The trouble with this is that, polyester isn’t going to decompose for rather a long time and natural fibres will decompose and create methane.  Both bad for the environment. Put them in the textile bank instead, or send to your favourite charity shop.  What isn’t good enough to be resold, will stand a much better chance of being recycled.  Lots of clothing can be recycled, such as cotton and wool.  Polyester is the ultimate recyclable fibre, just chop it up and melt it down.  In fact the ultimate recyclable item of clothing is the fleecy!  Which can be made from plastic bottles in the 1st place.

We run various upcycling workshops here at the making house.

You can take a jacket made in a lovely fabric, but no longer in fashion and redesign it into a wearable jacket, or waistcoat.  Alternatively cut it up and make a great new bag.


How our swishes work

£5, Your entry fee, includes the swish, a free glass of wine and light snacks and pampering sessions.

An opportunity for you to swap your quality clothes and accessories for someone else’s to create a new and different look. Expert advice will be on hand to suggest ways you could adapt pieces. Throughout the evening there will be pampering sessions for you to enjoy. And as always there’s some great art and craft on display too.

How it works

Bring up to 5 items of clothing/accessories that you want to swap and we will give you swishing tokens according to quality/type for you to use on the night. Please drop these in before the event, we’ll be open every day (bar Sunday) from Thursday 11th October to Wednesday 17th October for you to drop your clothes and accessories off.

This year we’re raising money for Burton and district YMCA and so to raise as much as we can, we’ll be holding a raffle and an auction of specific donated pieces of clothing, accessories and craft items.

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