credit: Annie Harratt

On the Pebbles: Clothing Upcycling

Old becomes new! Annie reviews the unique clothing upcycling event put on as part of the On the Pebbles festival.

On the Pebbles Clothes Upcycling workshop provided a tranquil escape from essays and the stresses of life, a chance to focus on sustainability and uniqueness, presented by the student arts festival On the Rocks.

On a dreary Saturday afternoon, one couldn’t crave simple comforts any more if they tried. The Barron possessed a certain ambience, with gentle soothing music in the background, with the laughter and discussion of people learning the same new skill punctuating the room (and it was definitely nice to get out of the November cold). The concept ‘upcycling’, a subsection of recycling, gives a new life to old and unwanted clothes. It is considered to be an increasingly popular alternative to recycling as the demand for new, exciting, high quality products rages. The concept of making my own designs was quite exciting and I felt eager to learn.

credit: Annie Harratt

As an embroidery and upcycling novice, I wasn’t really sure what to expect out of my work. However, with some gentle guidance I managed to pick up the technique and make a slightly wonky flower – it took me ages, but made me feel really proud that I’d gained a skill and accomplished something creative. Not only were people able to create their own designs, but also had the ability to sew buttons onto clothes in need of repair making them completely wearable again!

As well as offering the ability to learn a new skill, the event also had a clothing sale provided by ‘Sustainable Style’ selling dresses at only £4, much less than fast fashion and even charity shop alternatives. By providing the items at the same event, it gave the perfect opportunity to buy a new outfit and then decorate it, an excellent idea to improve the sustainability process further.

credit: Annie Harratt

Overall it was a brilliant venue to rewind and relax from a long week providing a multitude of valuable opportunities for students to be exposed to embroidery, affordable clothing, sustainable behaviour and social interaction. With the price of entry being only £3 I couldn’t recommend it more with all the embroidery materials provided. On the Rocks is the UKs’ largest student run arts festival and is coming up on the 3-12 April, 2020. Check out for more information.



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