There is a growing demand for ethical fashion, crafts and furnishings; ReTweed is harnessing that market, meeting both social and environmental objectives, providing successful manufacturing, creative industry and unique and quality products for our customers.
As well as delivering craft, design and technology training and teaching sewing competency, this pioneering social enterprise also delivers on the Greener Scotland agenda of reducing, re-using and recycling. At least 70% of materials will be recycled and our products are made using environmentally sound methods. We aim to raise awareness of environmental and social issues with the Borders community and with our customer base. Most importantly, ReTweed improves skills and confidence and provides routes into education, enterprise employment and volunteering for women.
Women in Berwickshire have the opportunity through our FREE TRAINING PROGRAMME, learn basic skills in craft, design and technology. Each student learns how to use a sewing machine and create a range of furnishings, fashions and crafts. These are sold to raise money to sustain the project and for promoting wider community good. We also support our students to identify their creative skills and aspirations. Our partners in Business Gateway, Borders College and across the area, work with us to deliver opportunities for further learning and career pathways, including promoting opportunities for students to develop their own enterprises.
Our other training opportunities take the form of weekend workshops where the wider community can come and enjoy learning a new craft and developing new skills. These popular workshops are growing and evolving month-by-month and in response to demand.
We run a rolling programme of courses. Each of the 11-week training courses runs 1 full day each week and offers additional drop-in sessions on other days. Every student creates at least 11 items which ReTweed sells at local craft fairs, through local retailers and online.
ReTweed is an aspirational project which provides creative and inspiring employability and entrepreneurship opportunities for women in a community often forgotten in the wider national initiatives.
We developed this project over 2 years ago, researching a wide range of social and community enterprises from across the UK, EU and as far afield as Africa, harvesting the best of ‘what works’ in terms women’s training, enterprise and creative and manufacturing initiatives.