Last night our minds were blown after winning the Circular Economy award at Cornwall Business Awards. The reality of this is still yet to sink in but we wanted to put a little something together to share for you what is for us so unbelievably exciting and very much worth celebrating.
We want to start by saying thank you to Cornwall business awards and Tevi for recognising the importance of circular approach to Business. We often see Cornwall is leading the way for environmental responsibility and creating this new circular economy award goes a long way in recognising sustainable approaches to resource consumption taken by companies in Cornwall. And also to Lottery Community Fund that has enabled us to work in the heart of the community and build stronger , more connected communities.
Over the last year so we have worked with numerous businesses, supporting them and re-purposing their textile waste, some of which have now completely eliminated all of their fabric waste. This is shown us that when we work together, we can create the change those needed. Just last night in addition to us, there is Odyssey innovation, re-purposing plastics who won the Pirate FM’s Award, Oltco, who won best product for their innovative approach to reusing hard to recyclable plastics and Tinkebu using reclaimed materials, equally deserving of the recognition this Circular economy award nomination.
But this is only the beginning, 72% of textiles still never gets recycled, the UK is still sending the equivalent of a bin lorry fusible fabric to landfill or incineration every 20 minutes. Though our work is beginning to pay off. Awards like this make a real difference, providing recognition to our work. Working together on Cornwall, the place that inspired are search for approach, we believe that the Cornwall Business Awards will support us in working collaboratively to create the solutions to the greatest threats we have ever faced.
We were honestly not expecting to come and weigh with anything, so this is surpassed any expectations we had had. This award will give us a huge push forward. We are excited by the doors it will open and the opportunities it will create. We hope that everyone that came to the event can take more away from this award than us. The award was given to an organisation that considers people and the community it works, and the planet before it considers profit. We hope this opens new ideas to business so they can also commit to supporting the planet and are Cornish communities.
This for us could have not come at a better time, today people across Europe and sweltered in record temperatures. Last week the government rejected EAC proposals for tacking sustainability in fashion, and industry which we are closely aligned. They will consider it again in 6 years, for now, the buck has been passed to us, businesses to create the changes that are needed, in 6 years it will be too late. In the words of Greta Thunberg our house is burning down. The time for business to act is now.
So we as a community led, profit for purpose business hope that businesses come away from these awards and act right away, the best time to act was 30 years ago, the next best time is now. We need to be radical for, our house is burning down. But there is hope, if we are quickly, if we come together and if we are radical, we can stop this house from burning down. And we believe, that if we work collectively and stop procrastinating, the change that is needed will happen.
You may or may not know that we have been shortlisted for an award this year. The award is for `Best Business of the Year`.
All the finalist businesses from across 14 categories are competing for the vote to be crowned Business of the Year for 2019 at the Cornwall Business Awards and we are one of them!
In fact we are simply blown away that we have been shortlisted. For us, it’s all about the communities we live in and how we can use Circular Economy to benefit the community around us.
As a CIC (community interest company) and a profit for purpose business, we think it would be really cool if a CIC could win over the `For Profit` businesses that are nominated and lead the way in highlighting the community businesses that are really doing fantastic work. There is no monetary gain for us in this but it would really highlight the work CICs and `Not for Profits` undertake. It would start conversations they may be missing and we would hope it will help shape the future in some way. We work with business textile waste and we use this to benefit our communities by making opportunities including; free workshops and teaching sewing lessons, in employment, eco products and environmental issues. We have diverted from landfill over 7 tons of textiles in 2108 and some businesses who we work with are now zero waste and our communities are better for it in many ways. A vote for us is a vote for change and for the idea of doing things different, its a boost for community businesses everywhere and it opens up minds for a new way of thinking.
Its 1 click and less than 1 minute of your time to make the change you want to see.
Hit the button and Vote for Cultivate Cornwall cic
WoW .. Just WoW..
We have just got back from 4 days in a field in Cornwall and it was just WoW..
The field was actually the grounds of a stately home and complete with Gin Garden, Wooded and Forest areas where Silent Discos were held along with Hot Tubs and glamping galore!
It is described as a Garden Party and yep, we agree with that, just one big garden party that brings together 1000`s of people to dance, sing, play and create. They also eat, drink and dress up in such fantastic ways and I think that they do this much much better here compared to other festivals.
We were there as traders and for entertainment if that is the right word? We offered free repairs to festival goers over the weekend that saw dozens of repairs happen and some very happy people after. Items included shorts, jeans, tops, buttons and patches. The only thing we couldn’t repair was an awning as it was still being used and slept in, they will be bringing it to the shop at a later date to be fixed and this is good in our books.
We also ran free workshops that included flower hairbands, embroidery and jewellery, lots of jewellery making was done during the weekend. These were aimed at all ages and abilities but it seemed to be mainly children and especially so during a the short period of drizzle on Sunday morning.
The festival gives us chance to sell a few items of clothing that we make, remake and rework. The money that is made there goes back to our cic where we use it for community benefit in various ways. Being not for profit, that little extra income goes a long long way and really makes a difference. We use some of this for extra workshops where we teach sewing and skills to people who don’t normally get chance. We do this on the high street, in the heart of the community and like all our workshops, we aim to do this for free.
The highlight for the weekend was a visit from Tim Booth and some of his group. I must confess at this point that I simply didn’t recognise him but like all our customers we had fun, told a little of our story and what is behind the TeX project and treated him no different to anyone else we saw over the weekend. He went on to buy a jacket from us and it made an appearance on stage later that evening, so now we can claim the fame of clothing worn by the stars or so we like to think. It made our day though and rightly so and Tim Booth and his team; We think you are great and what a fantastic show you put on at The Great Estate! (If you haven’t worked it out yet.. Tim Booth is James, the headline act at this year’s festival)
Being human we tend to judge things in life and at events and here is no different. We don’t judge people and here we judged the amount of litter left each day as we are often some of the first in to open shop in the morning and there simply is a very little litter problem. It doesn’t happen here. The same came when we were taking down our shop on the Monday whilst looking over the camping area that previously help 1000`s of campers.. No tents left behind, rubbish neatly stacked in sacks to be collected and very little debris at all. It was a real pleasure to see this after the bad press that generally goes around after a festival or large gathering.
I think I am right in saying that The Great Estate sold out this year in camping, weekend and day tickets and rightly so. It really is a brilliant thing to happen in Cornwall and the organisers have got this right. They manage it well and produce a weekend of stress free fun. It caters for all ages, tastes and desires. Its affordable for many and its local ( to us) so what’s not to love. We hope to be there for many years to come as we simply love the atmosphere and people that we find there.
Hats off to Team Great Estate.. You got it right this year just like you have in the past !
oh, and if you are reading this and have never been there.. I suggest you check it out and get your tickets when you can as I am sure it will sell out next year again.
Last week we tried something quite daring in our town by holding its first Swish on the High Street.
Swishing is the easy way to update your wardrobe! It`s guilt free shopping with no cost to your wallet and great for the environment. Swishing works like a giant clothes swap: you bring items you no longer wear and exchange them for something new-to-you! No money changes hands, clothes get reused, diverted from landfill and it really brings people together.
In a nutshell .. Free clothes on the High Street.
We were unsure how this was going to work with people and their reactions and especially those new to Swish and then we have the traders in Town who work hard and the last thing we would like to do it take trade from them.
As with all our Swishes, we arrive a few hours early with a team made up of staff and volunteers and we spend the next 3 hours hanging hundreds and hundreds of items of clothing on rails. If we are fast enough we manage tea before we open it up to the public to join in with the event. The rails were bulging and we even brought in extra tables to lay out childrens wear and the accessories like shoes and boots.
The time arrived and 1 oclock we opened up, People were waiting and many were taken by surprise that this could be done. We weight in the clothes as they arrive and get donated to Swish and we had just over 400kg at this even. To encourage people to join in and bring clothes to swop we held a raffle with tickets being given for each bag that was donated and the prizes coming from local independent traders in the town ( we really did want them to benefit from this and getting people in their shops we thought would be the best way.)
Many stumbled upon the event by accident, gave great feedback and joined in. Others knew exactly what goes on and really get into the spirit of things. One lady brought 83kg of clothing and was such a fantastic help while others brought nothing as they didn’t realise but all were treated the same and everyone went away happy.
Some of the best feedback was surprisingly from the local traders with shouts of a fantastic trade for them, can we do these monthly and please do more. Some had lots of new customers who didn’t even know they were there and others simply loved the atmosphere that we created and made `a great days for shopping` in Bodmin.
We will be doing this again as we do hold Swishes monthly around various venues in Cornwall. Our Facebook page gives details of these and our other events we have going on.
I personally think that the best thing about the day was our Volunteers as they worked so hard in a very busy environment and always with a smile. Some were new to swish and really got the hang of it and I hope will go on to become great members of the team.
As for the High Street; we think it needs to change and it is by being daring and trying new approaches that can bring that change. We do not have to wait for permission to do these things and we are the ones that can make that change. If you have ideas that you are unsure of then get in contact and see if we can help.
This isn’t our first event on the High Street or in this Town, we have many more planned in the future that will include eco markets, youth markets and a few other surprises so watch this space.
Bodmin Big Lunch on the Lawn ! Sunday 9th June.
We are looking for a few hundred people to join us by having Lunch on the Lawn.
The Big Lunch will be on the 9th June on Narisa Lawn, Priory Park from 11 am, lunch will be served from 12.30.
We have 1 rule ... No money to change hands.. Everything there that day will be free. Free lunch, tea, coffee and entertainment.
2 years ago we held a Share Fare and we now feel its time to do it again because last time was so much fun.
We love the way food brings people together and the act of sharing is one that is deep rooted in everyone so come and join in, maybe bring a cake or desert to share but dont worry if you cant as we shall provide all the needs on the day.
This is part of our Connections through Cooking project we are running this year with Miss Elvy's Curious School of the Wild, Castle Cankye Scouts and very kindly funding from The National Lottery Community Fund.
We seem to be doing something right in the world of business and how we work with businesses to benefit the communities around us.
Our Circular Economy approach with Textiles and business waste has managed to get us noticed and shortlisted for an award and we are so honoured to be selected.
You can read lots about what we do on our TeX website via a TeX button here.
This week we turned a huge corner with the work we do in the community here in Cornwall.
Thanks to funding from The Lottery Community Fund, where we have funding for 2 years to work with local communities through textiles, we have opened a shop on the high street in Bodmin. This has come about after weeks of work getting ready with our team of volunteers and the fantastic donations that are always welcome and from such a giving community. The shop open day and was very well attended simply blown away with all of it. We had over 60 people in the shop, loads of signups for workshops, events and so many donations and offers of support and the tea and cake went down well.
Thanks so much for the support and help we have received here, it has made us feel very humble. We now look forward to working with you over the next 2 years and bringing better connections to the community.
The open day coincided with the instalment of a Community Fridge that we have helped by providing the space and working to public demand. The community Fridge is the result of some great people working together to help make the places we live just that little bit better.
The community fridge is stocked and topped up a few times per week, as need be and its ready for anyone who may need.
The Fridge / Freezer was very kindly donated by HBH Woolacottes after the beautiful Carmen Steel answered our call for help and helped this happen.
Now the hard work of Nik Elvy and her team of dedicated partners can have another place to help distribute food for those that need and divert from landfill. Nik Elvy and her girls and have been collecting waste food from supermarkets and working with other hard working food waste organisations like DCFA for some time and finding cool ways to use it and distribute it. The Community Fridge has been run and funding by Nik and is in answer to the need for it in Bodmin.
If you would like to find out more about it, use it, set one up where you live or donate to the fridge then pop in the shop or message us here to find out more.
We have always looked at ways we can bring communities together and this year after taking inspiration from Eden Projects Big Lunch we shall be holding one in Bodmin.
Our ` Connections through Food` project involves all 3 wards of Bodmin + an event that will bring everyone together in the form of a Big Lunch that we will hold on Narisa Lawn after finding the kind permission of the town council.
The Big Lunch we are planning would involve us, Cultivate Cornwall, partnering for delivery with The Curious School of the Wild on a day that would be open and free for all to attend, much along the lines of the ` Share Fare` we held 2 years ago but mainly focused on food. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjZeoG2ENHo&t=14s
The ideas again is no money to change hands as with most of what we do and to simply bring people together as a community for community benefit.
What we are ask from the council is permission to use Narisa Lawn on the 9th June, a Sunday, so we can make this happen. We will be sourcing `in kind` contributions from various agencies in Cornwall, FareShare being one of these who work with food poverty and food waste we will aim to be involved and we ask for others who would like to contribute in some way to come forward. . We would also plan for a childrens play area on the lawn where supervised children will be able to join in with traditional games and learn new skills. Again, all for free.
Our funding in this is secured from the lottery community fund and will be spent on delivery on all 3 wards with other activities being held in St Marys - a series of outdoor cooking events held at the community garden and the Hub on Kinsman, A series of outdoor family cooking events that will be held in the grounds of Berrycoombe school - A wild weekend that we plan to hold at the Scout hut at Castle Kanyke and involve family camping for those who may not get chance to take part in these type of activities and ... The Big Lunch to bring everyone together from all 3 wards.
The whole project is aimed at benefiting the community of Bodmin, a project that we believe is inclusive for all and something we can use to build on to make stronger connected communities.
Of course, we would welcome any and all wards to join us on the day or in any of the other activities mentioned. We would also welcome any donations or contributions to help make this happen although we are not dependant on these.
You are invited to our Open Day for the shop where we will be serving Cakey Tea and have information about the up and coming workshops and events that we have planned for your enjoyment.
We will be able to let you know where you can join in on the workshops in Bodmin , Par and Liskeard, what we have planned there and when.
Swishing is back and the dates and venues have been confirmed. This year we plan things a little different in some areas and bigger and better in other areas. Come and find out how you can be involved.
Volunteers ! we simply love the help you have offered and we hope that you will be continuing with this and that we can attract more. You know its fun and a great way to help the community grow.
We would welcome your ideas on workshops and events that we could run.
So, come in, sign up, join in and get involved in positive action and most of all.... lets have some fun with textile!
You know when you are doing something good - when you are asked to Share with others what you are doing..
This weekend we are in Exeter at the CAG meeting skill sharing with like minded others. A fun, interactive day ahead.
And then this comes through this week with a request to do 2 slots / sessions on the Saturday and Sunday at the festival. Of course we said yes to Semble and we are so looking forward to being there !
The Seed Festival celebrates courageous leadership, creative expression and innovation in partnership with our natural world and we are going to be there to share what we do in a little old corner of Cornwall.
Click on the button below to find out more about the Seed Festival and about Semble.
Our blog is designed to keep you up to date on Cultivate Cornwall news and all the different projects we are working on.