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What Is Upcycling Anyway?

Gorgeous Upcycled Queen Anne Style table from our very talented Ali Dakin - Click here to shop now!   I imagine you have heard of recycling, but what is upcycling? It's a trendy word for what people have been doing for centuries - making use of what they have rather than throwing something away and buying a new one. The fashion for buying new things rather than repairing or reusing old ones is a new trend and only really took off in the last 20 years or so. It's part of the reason for the environmental crisis - the burden that constantly producing new stuff places on the earth is extremely high. That's why I started making bags from secondhand fabric...

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Finding a 'new normal': how three amazing women have run businesses and their households during a pandemic

Unprecedented times. How many times have we heard that phrase recently? But it really is. I don't know anyone who hasn't been affected in some way by the pandemic, some more than others. I am lucky to still have a roof over my head and a job. I started Remade Reloved in November 2019, and 2020 was going to be my year. My children were starting preschool, my mental health was improving and I had so many big plans for my business.  Then in March 2020 everyone's lives were turned upside down by the pandemic. I had to close down my business. My children came home from preschool one day and then just didn't go back for months. Suddenly my...

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What's the big deal with these old sewing machines anyway?

You may have noticed I have a slight obsession with vintage sewing machines. The old metal ones. You know, the one your nan/mum/great auntie used to have. Funnily enough, although I hear that from pretty much everyone I talk to about my machines I never hear “my grandfather used to have one of those.” That's because sewing machines have traditionally been seen as a woman’s thing and therefore they aren't valued in society as much as a classic car is, for example. I firmly believe that sewing machines are a part of the story of women in recent history and are therefore important. Sewing machines changed the world. The invention of domestic sewing machines meant women, who were expected to...

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Are we losing traditional skills?

Do you know how to sew? How to fix a fuse? The basic chemistry involved in cooking?  Odds are the answer is no. So few of us do anymore. Basic life skills that were once considered the cornerstone of education are no longer part of curriculum, and with so much else to worry about these days, few of us have the opportunity to learn these traditional skills on our own time. In fact, recent reports suggest that a scary number of traditional skills are rapidly dying out. Unsurprisingly, most have been replaced by technology. Some are just seen as irrelevant in the modern age.  Sadly, the fact that skills such as textiles, cooking, and woodwork have been gradually phased out of...

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Creativity and mental health

Most people take up crafting as a simple hobby, something to occupy their free time. A few will take up a craft because it's relaxing. Everyone has their own reasons for taking up a new hobby. But few of us begin crafting with the intention of addressing mental health issues such as anxiety or depression, and yet, as you may have discovered already, that’s one of the biggest benefits of giving yourself the opportunity to be creative. The research world is catching on, and now there’s plenty of evidence showing the amazing outcomes people have experienced as a result of crafting. Recent studies have looked at a whole range of issues and the positive impact that hobbies such as knitting,...

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