Changing the world one stitch at a time
ReTweed is an award-winning social enterprise based in Eyemouth, a fishing town in the Scottish Borders, a community often overlooked and with a rich textile heritage. We offer support to women who are finding the road forward in their lives and careers tricky. We provide a free training programme in textile skills and a safe space for women to meet, talk, learn, create and craft together.
Turning trash to treasure
We recently set up a business incubator for graduates from our training programme keen to develop their own creative businesses. Coincidentally, the new Eyemouth foodbank opened.
Our budding entrepreneurs said "please give us some work!". The foodbank asked "we don't want to use plastic bags for handing out food, can you make us some fabric bags?"
With a growing stockpile of donated, once-loved floral curtains, destined for landfill, we replied, yes we can!
This opportunity provides a wonderful platform to launch the manufacturing work of our business incubator. The bags will provide an income for our entrepreneurs, bridging the poverty gap many start-up businesses face before establishing a secure customer base. The entrepreneurs will also be offering bag-making workshops, teaching people in the community to make their own Bordersbag in a bid to reduce reliance on plastic bags.
The everyday bag you will want to use forever
Our tote bag is so versatile - for work and play, home and away, and of course, for everyday use. Sturdy and roomy, hardwearing and practical, the bag has chunky box corners and long, over-the-shoulder handles. Each Bordersbag is uniquely made by hand. Approx. measurements H 43 cm x W 25 cm x D 10cm.
Use it, love it, spread the word
We hope that Bordersbags will play a part in the global movement to avoid single use plastic. We hope the bags will be used and re-used, passed from one person to another, initiating new conversations about our lives and our planet, and new ideas on how to reuse waste and reduce our carbon footprint. Crafted without costing the earth, we hope Bordersbags will become a symbol of our community.
All about ReTweed
ReTweed provides skills development, social connectedness and routes into education, employment and enterprise for women in rural Berwickshire. We offer a free 12-week training programme on craft, design and technology skills. Each student learns how to use a sewing machine and creates a range of fashions and crafts. These are sold to raise money to sustain the project and for promoting wider community good.
We focus on the growing market for ethical fashion, crafts and furnishings. We ensure our students achieve real competency while also making the most of donated fabric, creating unique, artisanal products that showcase the creative potential of upcycling.
Our products are made using environmentally sound methods. We aim to raise awareness of environmental and social issues within the Borders. We want to prove the economic value of textiles. Instead of fast fashion items being worn a few times then going to landfill, we strive to keep them in the economy and realise their value.
We also run a regular series of low-cost craft workshops for the wider community, ranging from rag-rugging to upholstery.
Since we started in 2016, we have made considerable progress in helping women back into work. 64 women have graduated from our training programme while 25 women have gained skills through volunteering. However, we believe our most valuable contribution is bringing women in the Borders together, giving them the confidence to realise their aspirations, providing mutual support, and making lasting friendships.
"A social enterprise success story for the Scottish Borders" - Environmental Initiative of the Year 2019 Herald Society Awards
Can you help us?
Our small team of super stitchers will be working extraordinarily hard to make our Bordersbags, turning trash to treasure in the Scottish Borders.
Now we need your help. We want to raise £2000. The more funds we raise, the more bags we can give to local community initiatives, the more fabric we divert from landfill, and the less plastic bags are used in our community.
We hope that you can help us.