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  • Writer's pictureslyaccabe

Delivering workshops with a social and environmental purpose

Updated: Sep 30, 2021

Connecting with a social purpose brand

This month I enjoyed meeting the members and team at AND - Abilities Not Disabilities run by LEEP1 – Leeds People first. Leep1 are a Community Interest Company and AND Clothes is a not for profit clothing brand with social purpose. AND was founded by Susan Hanley, an advocate raising awareness of adults with learning disabilities and celebrating their creative and entrepreneurial skills.

I worked with AND to plan two workshops demonstrating different techniques that can be used to upcycle old garments and materials.

Making meaningful collaborations

In the first workshop I collaborated with Heartisan, a social enterprise delivering screen printing workshops for small organisations. Jennie- Lee Jack, the founder of Heartisan, demonstrated the screen printing process. AND members brought in a piece of old clothing to print on, as well as LEEP1 supplying blank tote bags. The members really got into the workshop and created some beautiful, inspiring designs. Members said "I feel great in myself" "I've been confident and positive in myself" "It was interesting and different." Showing how impactful learning new creative skills can be in developing member’s confidence in their own abilities.

Upcycling with embroidery

The second workshop focused on embroidery. Members embroidered their unique designs onto deadstock fabrics and bits of denim. Some members had also hand painted designs onto their fabrics or used screen printed pieces from the previous week to add additional embroidery to, creating really inspiring pieces.

Creative communities collaboate

It was heartening to connect with AND and Heartisan to share skills and experiences. We’re all part of a creative community keen to support learning disabled entrepreneurs, sustainable working practices and wellbeing through art and craft.







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