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Swap Shop Fashion Show

Swap Shop Fashion Show

Members of a community project who redesigned and created unique clothing using donated garments, recently staged a fashion show which was attended by Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

Organisers and volunteers of the Swap Shop project welcomed the First Minister to an exhibition of more than 50 outfits created by would-be designers who were mentored by Morag Campbell, a sewing tutor from Glasgow Clyde College, and project assistant manager Sadia Ahmed.

The project, initiated by Asian community radio station Awaz FM, was funded by the Climate Challenge Fund through the Scottish Executive and began in June last year. Classes in sewing and cutting, which allowed volunteers to ‘upcycle’ garments, were run in conjunction with Glasgow Clyde College’s Community Learning and Development team, whose Life Skills programme provided funding for workshop facilities at St Ninian’s Church and Pollokshields Community Centre as well as the cost of sewing machines, tutors, and materials. The college ran two-hour sessions twice a week for 12 weeks for the all-female team of volunteers.

Cheryl McLean, CLD Officer at Glasgow Clyde College, said: “Rizwan from Swap Shop got in touch to ask the college for help with a sewing class, and I thought his project was a great idea. It was great for the college to be involved in teaching members of the public how to ‘upcycle’ clothing.

“The project encouraged people who perhaps might not be able to afford new clothes to exchange clothes and help others. In addition, it gave people who may be unlikely to enter education a taste of new skills and a pathway or stepping stone towards work. It has been really good for the women’s confidence and self-worth and has made them feel like a key part of the community.”

Awaz FM’s Rizwan Ahmed, project manager, added: “We currently run more than 14 swap shops throughout Glasgow and the main aim of the project is for the community to swap clothes and, in turn, to reduce CO2 emissions and encourage recycling. We contacted Glasgow Clyde College because we were receiving donations of clothing we thought could be redesigned. We are encouraging these women, with the skills they learned from the course at Glasgow Clyde College, to set up their own business within the community once they have completed their work with the project.”

Nicola Sturgeon Attends Swap Shop Fashion Show