The Reimagine Project was born from our desire to serve the refugee and asylum seeker community, coupled with our care for environmental issues. The project focusses on reducing furniture and textile waste, and teaching others to do the same. The UK produces more than 200,000 tonnes of textile waste per year and more than 22 million pieces of furniture end up in a landfill every year. This is a shocking amount of waste, and what's more shocking is that more than half of it could potentially be reused or repurposed. Our goal with the Reimagine Project is to help reduce waste while teaching others a valuable skill.
From June 2021 we began running workshops with refugees and people from the local community to teach them how to take an old, unwanted piece of furniture and turn it into something you would want in your home. The furniture workshops teach how to choose the right furniture for repurposing, how to prepare it, sand it, paint or stain it, and finish it. We encourage the community to think twice before they bin an old piece of furniture, and instead donate it to us for the workshops. Furniture workshops are ongoing through May 2022.
From August 2021 we began running textile workshops with refugees and people from the local community to teach them how to use old clothing and scrap fabrics to create beautifully stitched pachwork, pillow covers, rugs, and all sorts of functional pieces. The textile workshops teach how to choose which textiles are best to repurpose, planning, cutting, sewing, and fininshing everyday items that could be used or sold.
The Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority and Veolia Community Fund is a wonderful fund that invests in projects that benefit communities across the Liverpool region by bringing awareness and promoting waste reduction and recycling. In 2021 the Community Fund distributed £165,000 across 17 different community groups. Bridge2 is thankful to have been selected as one of the recipients of the grant so that the Reimage Project could become a reality. If we can shift the mindset of people in the community to think twice before discarding items that could be reused, and we can encourage and equip more people to create beautiful, functional pieces out of these unwated items, then we will see a massive reduction in the amount of waste going to landfills.