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New Ethical Social Enterprise in Newquay a Success

By 10th March 2014 No Comments

A passionate group of young entrepreneurs from Newquay ran their first successful ‘Swish and Stitch’ clothing event last month.

Swish and Stitch is a new social enterprise formed by 7 young people who are taking part in the Social Enterprise Qualification (SEQ), and want to tackle the issue of clothing waste. They are being supported by Martyn Griffiths, a mentor from RIO (Real Ideas Organisation). The first Swish and Stitch event took place in Newquay on 15th February, and saw a mountain of clothes brought in by members of the community get upcycled, restored and resold. The young people worked with a seamstress for the event, with the aim of raising awareness of the amount of clothing making its way to landfill every year, but also taking active steps to solve the problem.

Turnout to this first event was very strong, and the group hopes to run these Swish and Stitch events on a monthly basis. They also want to run workshops which will teach others how to upcycle their own clothes.

The group has taken their enterprise online, selling the restored clothes on Facebook and eBay. Through this enterprise, the young people have gained a Level 1 Social Enterprise Qualification and hope to continue this to Level 2.

The SEQ, designed by RIO, is a way of accrediting social enterprise learning, through running a one off or ongoing social enterprise activity that creates positive social or environmental change. The Swish and Stitch event has a very positive impact on the environment, by tackling waste.

Josie Daly is one young person involved in the social enterprise. She said, “The Swish and Stitch event was very interesting and enjoyable and I learnt a lot about social enterprise and how to run a business.”

Martyn Griffiths, RIO mentor, said, “It has been very encouraging seeing the young people become so involved in creating this positive change in the environment. The SEQ is great because it teaches them real enterprise skills, highlights how much they can do if they put their mind to it, and at the same time giving them a real life qualification.”

For more information on Swish and Stitch or to get involved, please speak to Martyn Griffiths on 07545 788732 or email martyn.griffiths@realideas.org.

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