Darned if you do! June Main Meeting



Combining craft and care, our June Main Meeting tackled the subject of ethical clothing.

A lot of us do our bit for recycling, and know about how awful landfill is, but when we think of pollution and waste old garms aren’t the first thing to come to mind. Our first speaker Lyla Patel from Traid gave some startling facts. Aside from the time it takes our old clothes to break down in landfill, they still give off methane and lots of other toxic gases. They still contribute to the pollutants in the air we breathe given off by the incinerators just a few miles north of us in Shoreditch. But natural fibers like cotton and viscose are good right? They still have a huge impact on the environment due to the extraordinary amount of resources such as water used in their production. Having doubled the volume of clothes purchased in the past four years, it’s an alarming predicament. So what do we do about it? Lyla put it to us that we should change our disposable mindset to clothing. Taking the time to choose, personally investing in each find, valuing the memories that come with our clothes rather than the brand.  And when you’re done, spread the love by donating for second hand sale so someone else can treasure it.

And on that note a perfectly time traid van swung by to pick up donations from this month’s visitors by the sack full.


When then shifted the focus from the environmental to the human cost of clothes and were joined by Thulsi Narayanasamy War On Want. Taken through the shady supply chains, and lack of accountability it is worrying to consider that it is mainly women affected by the poor working conditions within the industry, but also mainly women consuming these goods. And how are we not more aware  of it? Thulsi put it to us that the fashion industry is wonderful at PR and we lap it up. We also heard how normal it was for women in some factories to experienced intimidation when trying to organise a platform for themselves, and was considered part of the package by them. It was eye opening to view the subject not just as a labour rights issue, but as a women’s rights issue through the wider frame of patriarchy.

After a thought (and hopefully action) provoking first half of the meeting, we got skilled up in the long lost skill of darning so that we could go away knowing how to breathe new life into old glad rags.



August 2013 Meeting

Women in Business

Tuesday 27th August

Ever dreamt about creating your own business or being your own great boss?  Perhaps you do already?

HERE TODAY HERE TOMORROW is a collaborative studio shop in Dalston where Anna-Maria, Emma, Katelyn and Julia design, make, mend, showcase, sell and educate all under one roof, accessible and visible to all.

Anna-Maria and Katelyn will be coming to talk to us about how and why they set up their business.  They will talk about what it is like to be women in business and the adventure so far. 

We have tea, coffee, beer, wine and pop available at the bar so bring some extra cash for merriment. Some WI committee-baked cakes will be gratis – bring your own baked goods to share with your sisters.

Everyone is welcome. Non-members are asked to pay £4. 
Members come in for free.
 Membership opens again in September.
*Please note that we will be in the upstairs room at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club this month.*

Share this event and RSVP on the Facebook event page.

Calling all London WIs for a big Swish

Dear London WI members, Come along to the Fast Fashion Campaign Swish on Saturday 21st May St Brides Foundation, Fleet Street, EC4Y 8EQDrop off clothes from 1.30pm, Swish opens from 2.30£5 entry As part of the NFWI’s Fast Fashion campaign, WI members are invited to a Swish event to launch the next stage of the campaign. The event will be a chance to spend a Saturday afternoon swapping clothes, shoes and accessories with WI members and friends from across London, while enjoying tea and cupcakes and finding out more about the Fast Fashion campaign.
The Swish will launch the next campaign actions for the WI’s Fast Fashion campaign, which aims to raise awareness of unfair wages and working conditions for garment workers and the environmental impact of clothing. Sewing tutors from Traid will be on hand to help you adapt and alter your swish finds, as well as stalls to browse and a film screening. Please bring along up to five items to swish – these can include clothing, accessories and shoes. You will then be issued with a voucher for each item that can then be exchanged for your swish finds. Places are available on a first come first served basis, but early registration by emailing e.lindsay@nfwi.org.uk is essential. Do contact me if you would like any more information or have any questions.