We are bursting at the seams with excitement this week at ReTweed (see what we did there). Firstly, SOSEP (South of Scotland Economic Partnership) announced more than £1 million for projects that develop rural skills, boost tourism and grow female-led businesses, including ReTweed’s own business incubator. Great news for Eyemouth, for Berwickshire and the Scottish Borders.
Next, we launched our Crowdfunder, aiming to raise money to make fabric bags-for-life for Eyemouth’s new foodbank and other local community groups keen to reduce plastic bag usage.
As global activist, Greta Thunberg crosses the Atlantic in a solar-powered yacht to raise awareness of the environmental impact of flying, and world leaders meet in Biarritz to discuss the climate crisis, we are proud to be taking this small step in the global movement for a more sustainable future.
It’s a very pertinent first commission for the business incubator. We had been looking for opportunities to provide work and some income for our newbie entrepreneurs so were delighted when the foodbank asked if we could make them fabric bags for handing out food donations.
When starting to design the bags, we looked around us for suitable fabrics. We saw curtains, piles of them, our stockroom shelves stacked high with these once-loved drapes, donated over time by the people of Berwickshire. Otherwise destined for landfill, we think the nostalgic charm makes them the perfect choice for our Bordersbags.
Our Bordersbag is oh-so-versatile for everyday use, for work and play, home and away. It’s roomy and robust, with chunky box corners and over-the-shoulder handles. Handcrafted, it may take our makers longer to make our bags but we believe the wait is worth it. Each Bordersbag is unique and with more than a nod to wabi-sabi, the Japanese art of finding beauty in the imperfect and the humble.
The making of the bags harks back to the inventiveness and resourcefulness with textiles for which the Borders is historically renowned. By the end of the 18th century, tweed production was a key source of income in the region, thanks to the many rivers that provided energy for mills and ease of movement for materials. One of the main transport routes was the 97-mile long River Tweed (tweed cloth derives its name from this association, as does ReTweed).
The Tweed rises in the Lowther Hills, near where the River Clyde also rises. The Clyde weaves its way from there, turning westwards to New Lanark where philanthropic industrialists David Dale and Robert Owen built their model settlement with its cotton mills, and then flows on eventually to the urban environment of Glasgow. Here, Scotland’s biggest city is thinking about introducing the country’s first plastic-free shopping zone. We can recommend our Bordersbags.
About our Crowdfunder – can you help?
We want to raise £2000. The more funds we raise, the more bags we can give to community initiatives, the more fabric we divert from landfill, and the less plastic bags are used in our communities. Visit our Crowdfunder to donate to Bordersbags and choose from the awesome rewards available.
This blog post was written by Melanie Thomson – ReTweed Marketing Volunteer