The Bayble Exchange Project
Promoting re-use and sustainability. Funded by Crown Estate Scotland
In Autumn 2020, the Old Shop in Bayble once again opened it's doors to the public, this time to promote the sale of second-hand clothes and other household items. We invited donations to the shop to see if we could encourage more exchange between households, an exchange that would help us, in some small way, reduce our overall consumer impact on land, both near and far.
It is estimated that despite the popular use of charity shops, globally 80% of discarded textiles are doomed for landfill or incineration. Only 20% are actually reused or recycled. When in landfill clothes can sit for over 200 years emitting the potent greenhouse gas, methane as they decompose.
When we donate to a charity shop or other clothes recycler we don’t always have a guarantee that the outcome will be environmentally benign. The transportation of clothes many miles away puts costs on society through transport emissions, at the same time as undermining local clothing economies, that are treated as unfit to produce their own clothing.
We believe in every locality there are people that can pick up a needle and thread and make garments fit for a king or queen. It is the technical equipment and money that is in short supply, not our discarded excess textile waste.
Local Sewing Craftmanship
The Bayble Exchange project was established, to highlight how the skill of local sewing craftsmanship can be used to increase the amount of clothing that actually gets reused and recirculated back into the economy. By promoting the skill of sewing craftsmanship in our community, we hope to demonstrate how repurposing textiles already on the Island can benefit our local economy. If we are successful perhaps we can use the profits of our success to support those countries and people in need of sewing equipment and local craft support.
To design and create a brand of clothing and other household items using excess textiles already on the island.
To reveal the true nature of a clothing industry that doesn’t support local craftsmanship.
To promote sewing craft as a sustainable activity requiring funding and support.
To provide alternatives to fast fashion and powerful brands that encourage overconsumption and waste.
To support networks throughout our island community that can help us change the tide of destructive clothing.
Transparency and Education
As well as showcasing what can be made from re-purposing textiles back into our island economy, our interest at Cruinn is to better understand our clothing networks, and to help make this more transparent. We want to get a better understanding of the journey our clothes make, after we give them away. We know that charity shops, often reliant on voluntary/unpaid time, do an incredible job of providing quality secondhand clothing, but they reach peak times, when their shops just can't process the large volume of clothing coming in. At this stage clothes get sent somewhere else. Where do they go? Through our blog posts we look forward to taking you on this interesting journey of discovery. We also want to highlight the full costs of the journey and point to the possibility of lower carbon and lower waste alternatives.
It can be confusing trying to work out how to shop and consume in a low impact way. Spending is good for the economy, but when what we buy has negative impacts on other people and the natural world, we start to wonder if we really are doing good through our purchases. One minute we are being urged to go out and spend, spend, spend. The next minute we are told to spend but only on certain types of products, particularly those that cause no environmental harm. But where are all these products that cause no environmental harm? In our supermarkets? Online? Down the road in our local shop?
We hope Cruinn at the Bayble Exchange can soon help to settle some of these issues for us here on a local level, in a fun and engaging way.
Follow us, as we learn together...