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To Give or Not To Give?


Want to know one of the very best parts of our job here? Sorting through the donations in our Give Boxes and passing them on to our partners who, in turn, pass them on to people who really need them. Truly the circular economy in action.


In the two years 2018-2020 we re-distributed a whopping 23,400 kg of your unwanted items.


But what to do while our Give Boxes are temporarily out of action?


We could just ask you to be patient and hold on to your stuff (even if it is currently in bin bags) until the great day comes when we can take it from you.


But a better option is to ask you to look again at what you are planning to chuck out and see if there is anything that can be done for it to win its place back into your heart.


Let's look at clothes first. They form the bulk of your donations and, especially at this time of year, are often the things that you are most sick of. 


We like to be as stylish as the next person and know how much our mood is lifted by a great outfit, but we try to find ways to do this without buying into fast fashion.


Like any other lifestyle change, it is easy and relatively quick to get into new habits, so before consigning anything to our Give Boxes in future please hold it up in a good light and think carefully. Does the item deserve a second chance?


  • Those jeans - could you chop off some of the legs and turn them into crops, or shorts?

  • Trousers could lose a bit of the leg and become elegant ankle-length or culottes

  • Would a hem on a skirt or dress transform it into something much more wearable?

  • Not keen on the cut-out on a dress? Sew on a patch in a contrasting fabric.

We understand the emotional pull of clothes that evoke special memories, but instead of leaving them languishing in our wardrobes, why not use the fabric somewhere we will see it every day?


Clothes can be cut up to provide enough material to make covers for chairs, stools, cushions, lampshades, folders or books. If you are not confident of your sewing skills, put the fabric into a picture frame.


If you have moderate sewing skills why not run up a drawstring bag? Or make a bauble (baubles do not have to be kept just for the Christmas tree) or bunting?

For the ambitious, how about a patchwork quilt? Or a patchwork cushion cover if you’re not feeling brave enough to start such a big project?


You might even want to use a favourite fabric to make a face covering. No sewing required - simply lay out  a rectangle your fabric (we like to fold it so we have a double layer) and slip over a hair bobble a quarter of the way in at each end.  Fold the fabric over the bobble and you have your mask, complete with ear loops.



If you would like to learn more about making the most of your clothes please join us for the first of our online workshops that we are running with Miriam Adcock of Zero Waste Scotland on Wednesday 10th June. 


You can book your free ticket here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/732343970835349/


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Gate Church International 
158 Perth Road 
Dundee DD1 4JA

01382 221222

Gate Church International SCIO is a charity registered in Scotland.
Charity Registration No. SC003542