New studio space sought

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Waste not . . . Just Atelier Trust chairwoman Fiona Clements (left) and project co-ordinator Fiona Jenkin sort through pieces of donated fabric at social sewing studio Stitch Kitchen in central Dunedin. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

Dunedin social sewing studio Stitch Kitchen is searching for a new home.

Just Atelier Trust project co-ordinator Fiona Jenkin said Stitch Kitchen had “outgrown” its premises in the Tapley Swift Shipping Agencies building in Vogel St.

The studio had been repurposing textiles, teaching sewing skills and bringing people together for creative community projects since May 2014.

More people were registering for its classes, workshops and community projects than the space could accommodate.

“We regularly get numbers which are higher than what we can squeeze in comfortably.”

When asked if the trust had considered capping the number of participants, she said: “No, we are aware there is 5000 tonnes of textile waste which goes to Dunedin landfill and there is a great need to be able to divert it from landfill and we have the skills to transform it into something cool and teach people skills along the way.”

The sales of some of the donated textiles helped pay for operating costs.

“We keep collecting more and we want to have a bit more space to sort and process and distribute it from – some sort of retail space, like a haberdashery shop.”

The ideal new studio space would include toilets and a kitchen, be on the ground floor so it was visible to the public and be situated among other Dunedin retailers.

The floor space would ideally be about 100sq m, and the rent affordable for a not-for-profit organisation.

“We’re keen to meet with any landlords who have unused space that might be suitable, and with other community textiles groups and practitioners, to see if a shared space might be beneficial for sharing resources.”