This is our first outdoor clothing swap! We are an artist collective with no physical space, so all our events involve reaching out and collaborating with community partners and there are always new twists. This swap is taking place at the Oakwood Village Urban Market on September 14 in Charles Brereton Park (306 Oakwood Ave, Toronto) co-hosted by the Oakwood BIA and NIA Cultural Centre PLUS Repair Cafe will also have a booth helping you fix small appliances so it will be a cool event. We are accepting donations from Oakwood/Vaughan as well as the home community of Davisville PS, in Mt. Pleasant area. Really, anyone can donate.
Here's how it works: We love to get donations in advance so we can sort into sizes for easier "shopping" on swap day- you can drop your (gently used) clothes off at 529 Vaughan Road (temporary home of Davisville PS/Spectrum Alternative school) during school hours- they are allowing us to store and sort on site. WE love to have clothes sorted and labelled into bags BY SIZE (ex: "boy-5/6") We are also happy to accept donations on the day- bring in your bag of pre-loved clothes that you no longer want, need or fit, and we will give you a bag to fill with (new-to-you) goodies. You can also buy and fill a bag for $5. We will have volunteers on site making up-cylcled crafts with visitors and offering repair advice. Any money raised goes to Works-in-Progress to cover the costs of the swap, and we are supported by an Artists-in-Community Grant from the Ontario Arts Council. Leftover donations will either be used as material for up-cycling workshops and artwork by Works-in-Progress, passed on to front link charitable groups like Fred Victor and the Humane Society or used in a future swap...some of the "too good to upcycle" clothes from last Spring are back for this swap :) Most importantly, your clothes get a second life and don't end up in landfill.
We realized after a few events that we should have some text on site that explains who we are and what we are doing. It's not just pretty basic macrame or crafts, or sorting old clothes, we are trying to inspire a change in view. Come play with us!
This was printed onto canvas with an ordinary inkjet printer, and then sewn on fabric sample backgrounds by Works-in-Progress artist Leah Sanchez.
Great afternoon drop in workshop at the Tuesday Appletree Farmer's Market in June Rowland's park. We once again made macrame hangers (see last blog) but this time mostly adults and in the sun, We had some lovely plant models (mint and a comely weed) from Renata's garden. Lanielle the librarian joined us after storytelling time, plus a number of drop ins including a visitor from Korea and some young people who had never before tied a knot, and the resulting hangers were used for carrying stuffies, hanging plants and carrying home some goods from the farmer's market. We also had some of our upcycled goods on display to show some other uses for upcycled material, especially T-shirts.
Works-in-Progress at our first vendors table at the August Oakwood Village Urban Market. We are starting to collect donations for our clothing swap at the next (and last) of these summer markets on September 14. We hope the weather is better- Leah and Lukas were battling thunderstorms at both the beginning and end of the day, However, there was plenty of interest in our project, and as a silver lining a lot of people took shelter and enjoyed making their own macrame planter from up-cycled T-shirt yarn. We had cases made from fabric samples (thanks to @evelovesgreen for the samples) pillows stuffed with fabric scraps, beeswax kits and pre-made wraps, and cutlery wraps.
Some hands on work to show what we are doing with this Works-in-Progress project. We are taking textiles that would otherwise be landfill and finding creative, fun, and beautiful ways to reuse them. This batch of objects was spurred on by taking a vendors table at the Oakwood Village Urban Market, and we needed to finish some objects to sell or sample. These are pictures of some of the process and materials we have used or been inspired by. We have taken this beautiful dress left over from the last swap- doesn't fit any of us so we cut it up and are using it to make beeswax wraps (note: this will wreck your grater for anything else) The labels are from cereal box cardboard. The cases are made from beautiful fabric samples collected from @evelovesgreen, a designer who also wants to avoid textile waste. more larger fabric scraps are quilted together to make quilted pillow cases or cutlery wraps ( these help us avoid plastic waste by bringing your own easy to carry cutlery sets)
We also love T-shirts, we make yarn from the bottoms (or T-shirt bags for swaps) and the yarn can be woven, knit or, in this case "macrame"-d into plant hangers. Some bits are too small to quilt or use, we take these bits and stuff them into the top of the T-shirts (now a pillow and stuff those into quilted pillowcases.
art experiments turning waste into beauty