Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham


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Swishers descend on Goldsmiths University for some clothes swapping

Friday the 13th might sound like a risky kind of day to hold an event. But despite being thrown a few unlucky curve balls at the last minute, we pulled through with flying colours, holding a really successful Swishing Event! In case you’re not sure what the swish is all about, it’s a fun social event where you bring your pre-loved clothes to swap them for someone else’s… for free!

All quite before the swishers move in

All quiet before the swishers move in

Lewisham Council, in its endeavour to raise awareness about the huge problem of textile waste, joined forces with Goldsmiths University students who brought a fantastic amount of energy into this campaign.

So, what is the problem?

In the UK, consumers throw away over a million tonnes of textiles every year. All of it could have been reused or recycled instead of going to waste. It’s the equivalent of throwing away £238 million every year. Crazy!  It’s just as crazy to learn that to manufacture one pair of jeans and a t-shirt takes about 20,000 litres of water.

Both students of Goldsmiths University and Lewisham residents came to swap their clothes. At times the change room had a queue as there was a frenzy of trying things on!

Both students of Goldsmiths University and Lewisham residents came to swap their clothes. At times the change room had a queue as there was a frenzy of trying things on!

Yet, there’s also thousands of ways to upcycle textiles, reuse them, swap them, or simply recycle them by putting them in a textile bank, click here for textile bank locations: http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/wasterecycle/textile-recycling/Pages/Textile-recycling-banks.aspx

This happy swisher had her eye on this shawl since the promotional events earlier in the week and was thrilled to be it's new owner at Friday's event. She was so happy, she came back later in the day for a second swish!

This happy swisher had her eye on this shawl since the promotional events earlier in the week and was thrilled to be it’s new owner at Friday’s event. She was so happy, she came back later in the day for a second swish!

Our swishing event, promoted through posters, information stalls and through social media was held in the Stretch Bar of Goldsmiths University. To the sound of groovy beats and strobe lighting, we had over 50 people come to the swishing event, or see what it was all about.

We took every opportunity to talk about what the event was all about and received great feedback about the concept and event, with 'When's the next one?' being the most asked question!

We took every opportunity to talk about what the event was all about and received great feedback about the concept and event, with ‘When’s the next one?’ being the most asked question!

A great time was had by all and many of the swishers walked away with armfuls of new-to-them clothes and big smiles!


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Textile Flash Mob Hits Lewisham Shopping Centre

In the UK, we throw away over a million tonnes of textiles every year. All of it could have been reused or recycled instead of going to waste. Lewisham Council and Goldsmiths University students joined forces to raise awareness of this issue, and as part of the campaign, came up with the crazy idea of performing a flash mob while creating an art instalment at the Lewisham Shopping Centre, which took place on the 14th of March 2015.

The students, coming from a range of backgrounds had no experience in performance or flash mobs but managed to catch the eye of over 200 onlookers and after each performance talked with residents about how they can upcycle, reuse or recycle textiles.

The flab mob start their routine as curious shoppers try to work out what is going on

The flab mob start their routine as curious shoppers try to work out what is going on

Once the flash mob completed their routine, shoppers had the opportunity to find out what was going on and approached the Goldsmith’s students.

We're asking residents to use clothing banks and charity shops to recycle all their textiles instead of their green bins

We’re asking residents to use clothing banks and charity shops to recycle all their textiles instead of their green bins


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Love Food Hate Waste Campaign

Throughout the last five or so wintery months we’ve been cooking up storms to raise awareness of just how much food is wasted in the UK and what we can all do to help reduce it.

If you can visualise the Wembley Stadium and just how big it is, then you might start to visualise how big an issue food waste really is. Every year, UK residents throw away enough food to fill the Wembley Stadium about seven times. Seven times. That’s a lot.

Student's at Goldsmith's University learn new cooking skills.

Student’s at Goldsmith’s University learn new cooking skills.

When we received funding from Recycle for London, Lewisham Council set out to reach as many of its residents in a practical and fun way, teaching them simple every day steps in how to reduce food waste.

All in all we attended the Fresher’s Fayre event at GoldsmithsUniversity where we also held 9 of the 14 cooking classes that we put on. These cooking classes helped students gain more confidence with cooking, especially when using up left-over food and helped them understand how to store food so that it’d last many days longer. Other classes were held throughout the community too.

A hive of activity as everyone get's stuck into some serious cooking.

A hive of activity as the students get stuck into some serious cooking.

Here’s some feedback from the students…

“…it’s so easy to make pizza dough from scratch and so good for using up left over veg or anything…”

“…I learnt that there’s no need to peel vegetables, just wash them well and that you can use the outside leaves of cauliflower and even the stem!…”

“…I didn’t know there were so many uses for black bananas – and I learnt that my freezer is my friend!…”

We also held 3 public cooking demonstrations at Deptford and Brockley markets and at the Tesco Superstore in Lewisham where people passing by were able to taste some yummy dishes and get some great food saving tips. On top of all this we also attended several primary schools to present the idea of loving food and hating waste within their classes.

Tesco customers get a sample of free food and learn some LFHW cooking tips as well.

Tesco customers get a sample of free food and learn some LFHW cooking tips as well.

If you were one of the 700 people involved in either our classes, workshops, demonstrations and information stalls, THANK YOU for joining us and we hope we’ll see you next time as we had a great time doing running the campaign too!


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“Leftovers” ft. Lewisham

Students at Goldsmiths College, New Cross produced this excellent video as part of their final year Media and Communications project. It discusses the fact that in the UK we throw away 8.3 million tonnes of food waste every year and highlights the issues associated with this in terms of the huge waste of resources.

The video features interviews with food waste experts including our very own Waste Prevention Officers – Kristina Binns and David Brinson (torso only), as well as students from St Augustines R.C Primary School.

For tips on what can and can’t be frozen, portion sizes, better food storage to make your food last longer, hundreds of recipes to inspire you and help use up your leftovers visit the www.lovefoodhatewaste.com website.