Despite driving rain and howling winds, the residents of Mansfield where undeterred when it came to joining us at our Climate Week event, ReCreations Day.
The event hosted by myself Queen of Easy Green™ and Veolia Environmental Services, at their Mansfield Materials Recovery Facility, was a celebration of independent, sustainable artists, designers and local producers from all over Nottinghamshire and the surrounding area.
Visitors were given the opportunity to see the creativity and ingenuity of local producers work, which included garden ornaments created from recycled t-shirts and jewellery created using recycled wine bottles.
In addition to seeing the local designers/producers work, visitors were also invited to take an internal tour of the Materials Recovery facility to see, at first hand, how mixed and recyclable waste is sorted and baled before being sent on to be made into something new.
If that wasn’t enough, braving the weather, visitors also enjoyed exciting cookery demonstrations from Love Food Hate Waste chef, Richard Fox, who rustled up a fabulous array of dishes, including a delicious Chicken Biryani curry, which was enthusiastically eaten up by his appreciative audience.
Feedback we got from the visitors was excellent; with many visitors commenting that it was really inspiring to see what wonderful crafts could be made with their ‘old rubbish’. As one lady stated, after looking at some upcycled baby wear, ‘Now I know that such beautiful clothes can be made from outgrown garments, I’ll never throw a piece of fabric away again’.
Similarly, with over 100 visitors taking the Materials Recovery Facility tour, many were completed bowled over by the vast quantities of waste that was being processed and subsequently vowed that recycling would now be a top priority in their own homes.
So, who were our stallholders and what were they selling, well to give you a flavour, here they are:
Clerestory Glass – Barbara Coulam is the talented artist behind this business creating beautiful handmade gifts and homeware from recycled bottle glass and windows. Her stunning creations included handcrafted trinket bowls, plates, tiles and candleholders.
Crafty Clocks – Steve Davis is a local artist would makes fabulous wooden gifts and homewares from locally sourced wood. From blackboards to books ends, memory boxes to clocks, he makes something for everyone.
Greenfield Bakers – my Twitter friend, Sonya Hundal, bakes the most delicious range of artisan breads made using locally-produced stoneground organic flour which are baked in a French clay oven. My favourite – Pesto bread – it’s divine!
Arella-baby – Don’t think babywear can be chic? Think again, with the enviable talents of owner Claudia Schaaf babywear has never been so cool. Created using vintage and upcycled designer fabrics, Arella-baby babywear is a must-have for any mums and mums to be out there.
Wine Bottle Crafts – If you love designer jewellery you’ll love the handcrafted pieces created by artist Jules Mounteney. All made from recycled glass bottles, Jules hand makes her own glass jewellery beads and incorporates them into a range of stunning designs, including necklaces, bracelets, wine stoppers and even beer bottle openers.
Faerie-Tales – inspired by her own desire to make a lasting memory of her own children’s baby clothes, Karen Williams creates unique sculptures which are a true work of art. Made using recycled materials, including old t-shirts, jeans and duvets, Faerie-Tales are beautiful sculptures, including fairies, cats and dogs, which are lovingly made with an incredible attention to detail.
Nkono Foods – If you want your meal to be a talking point, Alain-Andre Job has just the cuisine for you. Using his own special recipes, Alain’s flavoursome African dishes are made using locally sourced food and are cooked and served in fresh, biodegradable banana leaf parcels. From Sunshine vegetables to Shark Steak Curry Nkono’s banana leaf parcels make sustainable eating a real joy!
To summarise, it was a great day. We had lots of support from the local community and further afield, we also had interest from the local press, Nottingham Evening Post and Trent Radio, all who were keen to find out more about recycling and sustainable crafts. Indeed as one lady told me, ‘After hearing you talk about the interesting mix of recycled products which were being showcased on BBC Radio Nottingham, particularly the ‘recycled t-shirts sculptures’, I just had to come along to see them for myself’.
Thanks again for everyone who supported the event, Veolia Environmental Services, namely Kevin Parker and Victoria Moore, all of the stallholders, Richard Fox and of course, our fabulous visitors.