CREATIVE CONSUMPTION CASHEL
We headed to Cashel, Co. Tipperary this past October, which was National Reuse Month. All around the country, communities were organising various reuse events to encourage people to repair, reuse and reimagine rather than throw away items.
VOICE worked with the Southern Region Waste Management Office, Cashel Tidy Towns, St. John the Baptist National School, Collins Bikes, Second Chance and NCBI Charity Shops to put together five different events that made up ‘Creative Consumption Cashel’.
Although we had only two weeks to pull this initiative together, we had incredible buy-in and support from the people of Cashel. We organised a second-hand bike sale and bike repair event where PJ Collins, our resident cycle mechanic, repaired around fifteen bikes in three hours at the St. John’s Baptist National School. We asked students and parents to bring in old bikes hiding out in their sheds to be resold, with some of the money going to the school. While the event was small, we sold around five bikes and PJ repaired ten others making them safe to be back on the road. The remaining bikes that were too damaged or that did not sell were donated to Rebike, a Waterford charity that reuses bike parts to construct new bicycles, fully embracing the repair and reuse goal.
We also embraced the Halloween theme and engaged a local facilitator, Winnie Looby, from Cashel, who helped some mothers repurpose old clothes and items around the house into scary Halloween costumes. Berna Hannigan, another local artist, worked with 20 local children to turn ‘Trash into Treasure’, a craft workshop where participants brought old throw-away items in to turn into lovely creations.
Baby Market, the brain child of Angie Nangle, was set up in the local community hall as a type of car boot sale for old children’s clothes and equipment. Angie holds these events throughout Ireland where old clothes and baby items are given a second lease of life. We had around 130 people attend and fifteen stall holders. We are thrilled with this turnout. If you want to hold your own baby market in your community, contact Angie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our last event, the Charity Shop Fashion Show, was a huge success. We worked closely with NCBI and Second Chance Charity Shops to organise a fun event. They convinced ten women and even a few children to model outfits that could be found at the charity shops for under €25. Each attendee was asked to bring clean second hand clothes instead of purchasing tickets. These clothes, along with some from the charity shops, were sold on the night and all proceeds went to the charities.
We are thrilled that we were able to pull these events together to illustrate that good quality and interesting items don’t have to be new and that upcycled clothes and things destined for the bin have value. We loved working with the people of Cashel and look forward to collaborating with them as we move our Zero Waste Cashel pilot initiative forward in the new year.