It’s been a week and half this week at ReTweed. Radio silence on social media as we’ve been busy, busy and busier still. Tuesday saw us celebrating the 7th Graduation Event at Eyemouth Hippodrome. What an outstanding group of women we have had the pleasure to work with over the last few months, a real reminder of the depth of hidden talent in Berwickshire and the need to campaign to ensure that we don’t get forgotten in national initiatives and opportunities.
The day itself wasn’t just a celebration of our students’ technical and creative achievements, it was a celebration of community, of enterprise and of generosity. Without the help of our business community, our hardworking Board of Directors, our Volunteers and Staff as well as the vital support of our funders, none of these successes would be possible.
Our genuine appreciation to Big Lottery Scotland, The Robertson Trust, UK Untld – and our gratitude also to Blackhill Windfarm Fund and Voluntary Action Fund for the recent awards to support our growth and development over the next few years.
A shout out to our local business community – particularly Eyemouth Rotary, Oblo and Giacopazzis and our local florists (Ocassions),for their donation of bouquets for our volunteers and to the inspiring business woman and civic champion, Kerry Waddell for a motivational speech that took us all by storm and gave us much to contemplate upon as we made our journeys home afterwards. Our thanks also to Rachael Hamilton MSP for her considered and thoughtful reflections around women’s contributions to the economy.
We were chuffed to have our funders in the room and folks like the Langholm Initiative who made an intrepid journey across country to find out what’s happening with social enterprise and 21st century textiles innovation in Berwickshire!
The large turnout of Elected Representatives was also heartening and we’re pleased they have a sense of some of the exciting work that is emerging out of our wee community.
As ReTweed is also about diverting textiles from landfill, we are grateful to the many companies who have supported us through donations of leftover textiles – to Hawick Knitwear, House of Cheviot, Robertson Lindsay, Design and Alter to name but a few.
FINALLY, FINALLY, we owe an enormous debt of gratitude to David McGill of International Tartan, for his philanthropy in designing a Berwickshire Tartan! He’s given ReTweed exclusive rights over the tartan and opened up a door of new opportunities for us, for graduates of ReTweed setting-up their own textiles businesses, and for the whole community. Berwickshire seems to fall off the map of Scotland, and even some Scots don’t perceive it as part of their country – Tartan, is Scotland’s national icon and what better way to ensure that our area gets the recognition it deserve than its own regional tartan. David has also designed and registered ‘The Borderlands’ Tartan which unites those areas across our beautiful landscape and straddling our equally iconic, River Tweed. Watch this space as we continue to grow and diversify our work.
This blog post was written by Hazel Smith – ReTweed Founding Director