Community Outreach with Textile Crafts

Claire Wellesley-Smith Saturday, 1 June 2019

This month’s masterclass explores the idea of community as a driver for improved sustainability in fashion. But we can also find ways of engaging textile and craft practices to address, and even repair, issues within local communities.

Community is at the heart of textiles-based practitioner Claire Wellesley-Smith’s work in West Yorkshire and East Lancashire. She has written, developed and delivered long-term community-based arts, health and heritage projects across the regions in the north of England, and mainly in disadvantaged areas. In this video, Claire talks about working with communities based in the 10% most deprived areas in England, areas that also happen to carry rich textile production heritages.

In this video, you'll learn:

  • The impact of textile and craft practices in community outreach projects
  • Ideas to utilise your skillset and reach out to local communities
  • How to share embedded knowledge
  • How low-tech methods can generate high impact engagement

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Next Lesson

  • The History of Zero Waste in Fashion

    with Jenny Tiramani

    "Zero waste" might be a popular buzzword these days, but the practices behind it have been around for millennia. Thanks to the crucial research of historians like Jenny Tiramani and The School of Historical Dress, we’re able to incorporate ideas and practices from earlier eras of clothing production into what we make today. In times when resources were less easily attainable and people worked in closer contact with raw materials, wasteful habits were uncommon, even frowned upon. From pattern cutting, to textile production, to hand-me-downs - this lesson uses specific examples of historical garments to find out where we started to use our resources more flippantly and to seek practical techniques that will revive less-wasteful practices, for a more sustainable fashion future. 

    About the speaker:

    Jenny Tiramani is an award-winning costume and stage designer and a leading researcher in historical costume practices. She is also the Principal of The School of Historical Dress, which boasts Dame Vivienne Westwood among its patrons. Jenny has designed and made costumes everywhere from Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London to the Belasco Theatre on Broadway, where she won a Tony Award for ‘Best Costume Design in a Play’.

    Find Jenny and The School of Historical Dress at:

    Instagram: @theschoolofhistoricaldress1