Tag Archives: recycling

  • Upcycling inspiration at Tayside Re-Users

    June 20, 2014

    tayside reusers

    The chief frocker recently joined the board of Tayside Re-Users (formerly Tayside Recyclers) which is a registered charity and social enterprise based in a former Dundee jute mill. Founded in 1995, TR promotes re-use and recycling and offers employment, volunteering and training opportunities to people who wish to find a route back into work.

    The charity actively encourages and inspires people to find alternative uses for goods they might otherwise throw away. Collections of quality used household and office furniture, white goods, bric a brac, and all kinds of DIY goods are carried out daily, and the items are assessed, refurbished, cleaned and sold at The Emporium.

    As a Revolve approved organisation, customers can be confident that whatever they purchase at TR meets rigorous quality standards. Second hand does not mean second best and a quality item can last a lifetime, although it might sometimes need a bit of TLC to bring it back into circulation.

    revolve badge

    With imagination and creativity, unwanted items can be given a substantial second life. This not only benefits those looking for affordable goods of all descriptions, but also helps to improve the environment. What could be better than saving the planet as well as the wallet?  

    And remember, when it comes to textiles, you'll find the Frockery's Top 10 eco-fashion ‘RE’ action tips in our focus article, Landfill fashion: what a waste.

    Meanwhile, take a look at this beautiful upcycled work of art gifted to TR by Naomi D'Cruz, an art student at Dundee University's Duncan of Jordanstone college, who created a stunning chandelier out of old bike parts. It is currently on display in The Emporium and although it is not for sale, it will remain on view as an inspiring example what can be achieved by reusing and upcycling (literally!).

    upcycled chandelier

     Upcycled chandelier made from old bike parts by Naomi D'Cruz, currently on display at Tayside ReUsers


  • Cor Kirstie, that's really free!

    August 7, 2013

    So who else has been watching Kirstie Allsopp's Fill Your House for Free series on Channel 4?

    "Kirstie and her team will demonstrate how to upcycle and restore old furniture, as well as showing viewers where to go and how to salvage their own treasures while spending as little as possible on doing up their homes."

    The programme is right up our street as we've been freecycling, flea marketing, car booting and house clearing for years and have all the free, cheap and stylish (we think!) stuff to prove it! When we lived in Germany, householders used to leave unwanted items out on a specified day every month so that people could help themselves to 'treasures' before they were cleared by the council for recycling. Compare that to stories of  individuals in the UK being fined for 'stealing' stuff destined for, or actually deposited in, skips and council tips!

    Since we are planning to downsize in the fairly near future, we have already started selling and giving away some of our surplus items, which is proving quite therapeutic and has the added benefit of  helping someone else out who needs what is taking up space in our home. Our recent giveaways have included a vintage Sega megadrive with games which went to a family with five foster children, two sofas and a TV / video combo with freeview box which was snapped up in minutes after posting on the local freegle group.

    We have also enjoyed some fantastic freebies over the years, including an Apple Mac computer (the model with the innards on show!), which Kirstin Frocker used for her designs, and 'Christine', one of our frockery mannequins who was looking for a new home when her owner moved away after finishing her art degree.

    christine frocker

    As some readers already know, the chief frocker used to work in a previous life for a Member of the Scottish Parliament, during which time she enjoyed responsibility for the waste portfolio as well as education and children (the two complemented each other remarkably well!)  One local charity we had regular contact with then, and of which Johnny Frocker is currently a director, is the Tayside Re-Use Centre (formerly Tayside Recyclers) which occupies a  large former jute mill building and collects, repairs and re-homes all sorts of goods, from bric a brac, clothing and soft furnishings to small electricals, domestic and office furniture and white goods. The Emporium is well worth a visit if you are ever in the Dundee area and the Skill Share project, which is also based there, provides a myriad of learning opportunities to support and enable more sustainable living.

    tayside reuse centre

     tayside reuse centre

    tayside reuse centre

    There isn't a lot of spare money around in most households these days, so it makes sound financial and sustainable sense to source and re-use items that might otherwise end up in landfill. What you no longer need or want will undoubtedly enjoy a new lease of life with another owner, and take it from us, giving stuff away is entirely painless; indeed it engenders a positive feelgood factor!

    Just as vintage clothing used to be sneered at by fussy fashionistas who have since begun to embrace it enthusiastically, second hand furniture, fittings and household eclectica have had an entirely undeserved Cinderella-like image for far too long. Having never really understood the appeal of  'brand new', our own house is crammed full of vintage finds, antique pieces and other hand-me-downs that we have acquired over the years - and we also have far too many vintage tea sets and kitchenalia stuffed into too many drawers and cupboards! It's just as well that older  furniture is generously sized to accommodate the acquistive tendencies of the frockers, who are unashamed hoarders of old crockery, cameras, clothes and collectables (various).

    So it's full marks to Kirstie for championing the recycling and upcycling cause and bringing it to more mainstream attention. We're sure that really free and nearly free stuff is going to catch on in a big way, and not before time.

  • Landfill Fashion: what a waste

    April 21, 2008

    We are becoming increasingly fed up of living in a society which seems hell bent on creating ever greater mountains of unnecessary waste. From plastic bags in their billions to fast food packaging, cheap promotional items that no one wants or needs, and even shrink wrap covering for supermarket  cucumbers, we are drowning in the stuff.

    Textiles waste is a particular bugbear of ours. Did you know that in the UK alone, we throw out in excess of one million tonnes of textiles every year, most of which ends up in landfill sites?

    Far from being harmless holes in the ground where we can conveniently bury anything and everything we no longer want, landfill sites cause significant environmental damage. In the case of landfilled textiles, garment dyes and bleaches can cause toxic chemical seepage into the ground and water courses. As the material decomposes, the build up of methane gas presents further hazards.

    Although environnmental issues have been gradually nudging their way up the political agenda, there is no evidence that our throwaway society is ready to take responsibility for its wasteful behaviour. We need a sea change in attitude and, while there is some great work being done to reduce textiles waste through reuse and recycling, the clothing industry remains awash with cheap ‘fast’ fashion which is likely to end up in landfill in a matter of months if not weeks.

    So how can we as concerned individuals make a difference yet still stay stylish (and solvent!)? Well, we have put together a list of simple ‘RE’ ACTIONS  to the relentless pressures of the fast fashion industry, and we hope the following top ten tips on working towards a greener wardrobe will be useful for waste aware, eco-friendly fashionistas like ourselves.

    The Frockery's Top 10 eco-fashion ‘RE’ actions

    1.   RESIST temptation. Don’t buy it if you don’t need it! Your wardrobe is probably already bulging with impulse buys, many of which you have never worn, so you know it makes sense.

    2.   REJECT fast fashion outlets and cheap imports which have been transported halfway round the world, may have been produced by an exploited workforce, including child labour, in dangerous conditions, and will probably fall apart after one wash.

    3.   RETHINK your buying habits. Support ethical, fair trade businesses and ‘home grown’ designers.

    4.   REUSE clothing and accessories. Buy from vintage, second hand or charity shops, car boot sales and auction websites – or swap clothes with friends

    5.   REDISCOVER the back of your wardrobe and the darkest corners of your attic which may well harbour some long forgotten outfits that are yearning for a new lease of life.

    6.   RESTYLE your current wardrobe. Get the sewing box out, refashion a dress into a top and matching bag, add a few embellishments, chop off some sleeves, or just shorten a hemline or two.

    7.   REFRESH your ‘old’ clothes by adding belts, scarves and complementary accessories for an instant style update.

    8.   RECYCLE the clothing you no longer need. Drop it off at your local textile recycling bank, freecycle it, or else donate to charity.

    9.   RESELL your unwanted clothes on one of the internet auction sites or, if you don’t want to do it yourself, through a local or online dress agency.

    10. RESEARCH environmentally friendly fashion alternatives which combine style with sustainability. We recommend Kate Fletcher’s Lifetimes project as a great starting point for both information and inspiration.

    recycle  symbol

  • Goodwill to all people and the planet

    November 14, 2007

    The Frockery firmly believes that the upcoming season of goodwill should be extended to looking after our planet as well as the people around us.

    Having recently floated the idea of green stocking fillers and sustainable 'secret Santa' gifts, we have been encouraged by the positive response of some of our eco-friendly customers, who say they do want to exchange thoughtful gifts with family, friends and colleagues, but really don't want any of them to cost the earth.

    Rising to the eco-challenge, we have now included a selection of goodies with suitably green credentials in The Frockery catalogue, which means they are all affordable, as well as being quirky, vintage, retro and/or recycled, in what we hope is a much needed antidote to the rampant consumerism which abounds in the run-up to Christmas every year.

    Retro tea towels are already flying out of the shop, and we have some old fashioned pinnies like this one on offer, as well as a selection of  inexpensive jewellery. You will also find an affordable selection of scarves, bags, hats and gloves, and even some retro table linen for some 1970s nostalgia.

    Meanwhile, dedicated fashionistas will still find plenty of affordable party wear for the upcoming festive season and, by Frockery shopping, they can congratulate themselves on reducing unnecessary style miles in the process!

  • Size matters

    October 29, 2007

    We have had lots of great customer feedback over the past few weeks (thank you all!) and are now working on a few new ideas to improve The Frockery shopping experience for the many vintage and retro clothing fans out there, as well as for those who are simply looking for pre-owned contemporary pieces that will neither break the bank nor cost the earth.

    A 'search by size' function is planned, and we have also received requests for a wider selection of ladies clothes which are bigger than a size 14.  Since retro and vintage clothes tend to be on the small, if not tiny, side (as we were all a lot smaller back then) it is often more difficult to source larger sizes from past decades, but we are certainly on the case! Meanwhile, we have a few larger size posh frocks in stock, such as this black and gold glitzy party dress, which is sure to turn heads over the festive season and beyond.

  • The Frockery Fifty Quid Fashion Challenge

    October 16, 2007

    The Frockery has launched its first Fifty Quid Fashion Challenge in which its website visitors are being asked to put together a stylish look for a given occasion for £50 or less.

    Challengers are being invited to submit an entry to one or both of the following categories: an outfit for a office based job interview; a festive party outfit. Entrants are also being asked to state in no more than 20 words why their chosen outfit deserves to win the Frockery Fifty Quid Challenge.

    The closing date for completed challenges is 30 November 2007 and the winner of each category will receive goods of their choice from The Frockery website to the value of £50, with one runner up from each category receiving goods to the value of £25.

    With the extra financial demands of the festive season now looming, dedicated fashionistas still want to look chic, but preferably without breaking the bank. We hope the Frockery Fifty Quid Fashion Challenge will help more people realise that you can dress for less, yet still stay stylish.

    The Frockery offers an affordable and sustainable alternative for style conscious and environmentally aware consumers who neither want to max out their credit cards on expensive designer labels nor settle for same and soulless 'fast' fashion.

    Recycling fashion makes perfect sense from the point of view of both the planet and the wallet. At The Frockery, we take great pleasure in finding new appreciative owners for pre-loved quality clothing and accessories and we want to remind people that looking stylish need not cost the earth.