This is 2nd in a 5 part series looking at everyday activities, organisations and campaigns that support contributing to sustainable change (in Reading UK and beyond)

A common theme in terms of sustainability is getting more hands on, taking time to learn, try and make for yourself (long before the likes of the Great British Sewing Bee, Bake-off, Kirstie’s handmade everything, the pottery throw down and all the others that came along…….). Even Greenpeace have now started a new campaign, or movement, called Make Smthng  “Using maker power to fight over consumption and create amazing new things out of old”.

Making or creating for yourself, not only often means that it develops a better and deeper understanding of stuff, how things are made, alongside consideration of the materials, time, effort and skills behind them (a particular growing focus in the fashion industry) , BUT it can also be great for your mind. Who knows, you may just find yourself doing a career change!

At number 2 is:

  1. Get creative with what you have, learn and be inspired by others – Try making your own gifts, or perhaps give or take part in workshops and events that support this 

A long running favourite in the arts and maker scene in Reading is Jelly Reading hosting a host of creative workshop for the young and old alike, from drawing to knitting. A particular one I spotted was using recycled cardboard. Keep an eye out for their Open For Art Festival in July.

On the creative with ‘waste’ front, there is also Crafted Waste that uses waste materials that can’t be recycled or composted to weave amazing baskets and decorations ( one of her lilies is on display in Reading Museum along with another from the r-lab ). You can also find there the mammoth example of collaborative making, embroidery, in the form of the replica of Readings own Bayeux Tapestry ( all that fuss recently over the real one).

Bayeux Tapestry Reading Museum
Lillies for Oscar Wilde Reading Museum









I also came across the Art Jam Studio in Caversham the other day that runs loads of different workshops for all ages including ceramics and water colour. You may even fancy a try at Painting with Pinot – a perhaps inspiring, or slightly messy combination………..

Other local art organisations include OpenHand OpenSpace who run a number of open courses as well as Reading College where you can try your hand at carpentry or printing. You can also search the Craft Course website with loads of  listings.

One of my big material passions is cork (and not just because of the bottles of wine and Prosecco you need to go through to collect them). A few years ago I experimented with them “Corking Adventures ” and more recently got to visit a cork forest while working in Portugal. It’s really a fantastic renewable versatile material, becoming ever more popular as well as an animal free leather alternative. During this time I also came across and had some great chats with Recorked UK  who are now supporting cork recycling schemes and will offer corks for artists and schools. Perhaps it’s time for some Reading wide cork collecting?

Want to join in mapping the organisations, people and campaigns doing some great things to get involved with and support, then share in comments, #ecordguk or just contact me!

Stay tuned for 3 to 5


5 Tips For Supporting Everyday Sustainable Change

  1. Broken doesn’t have to mean Goodbye – Repair, Mend, Maintain, Sew, Knit and Reinvent it!
  2. Get creative with what you have, learn and be inspired by others – Try making your own gifts, or perhaps give or take part in a workshop or events that support this
  3. Try eating and buying more Local, Seasonal, Veggie and homemade – Good for the environment and your tummy
  4. Always Question and Choose for Ethical and good design – Fairtrade, good materials, ethical policies, 2nd hand and support local and independent
  5. Get out, share and connect! There are loads of Community initiatives sharing Knowledge, Spaces, Connecting, creating Tech, Energy and supporting getting out into Nature


This blog originated from involvement with the Open Source Circular Economy days  (#OSCEdays) and an original mapping with participants during Reading Green Fest.


    1. Thank you – loads more but trying to make them not too long 🙂 Really enjoyed yours too on Community activism – the time is most definitely ripe!

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