Through the In Our Nature programme, Groundwork has been supporting communities all over Manchester to make better choices for our planet. From improving green spaces to educating others through talks and workshops, there are many ways to help local people understand how to live for a greener tomorrow.

Recently, we’ve been working with Valery Touchet from VT Creation to support her free sustainable fashion workshops, running at Gorton Central. Valery has a long history with sustainable fashion practices, with it being her career focus when she went to University and learned about the history of fast fashion.

“From seeing children aged 7 working in the fashion industry, creating garments that end up in a landfill in poor countries and taking about 500 years to degrade, I thought what can I do?”

Before Valery starts her practical workshops, she hosts a clothes swap and introduces herself, along with a presentation showing why she started her sustainable journey.

“Sometimes visuals are important, when people see it, it stays in their mind for longer.”

When it comes to the practical sessions, Valery teaches the participants a variety of skills, from how to amend their own clothes to creating garments from different materials which are donated by local supporters.

“Learning how to mend clothes is such a valuable skill to have, it saves money and can be a quick easy thing to do. The women really enjoy the sessions and it’s great to see how far they’ve come!”

Karen, a regular participant, also praised the workshops for teaching her how to use a sewing machine and giving her a place to go during her retirement:

“I have a sewing machine at home but I’ve not been confident enough to use it, but now I am. The ladies I’ve met are really nice too”

As well as running the sessions, Valery has recently secured a studio at the Manchester Craft & Design Centre in the Northern Quarter, giving her the chance to spread her sustainable messages even further.

Find out more about the In Our Nature programme: