Monday, 30 January 2012

Rags and stuff and Rug Aid

An owl with a heart and a pocket though its hard to see it lol
Thats it, thats my Valentine 'make' ....!

Its true that some charity shops over here have become more selective in what they take in, but they have to pay to dump the unsaleable stuff now, so maybe that has something to do with them turning more stuff down.
They cant accept suites for example, unless the foam is labelled fire retardent and theyd have to pay to dump it in landfill if they took it in.

Your right Jeannie 'green' has become a buzz word..........not unlike a fashionable version of the 'mend and make do' of my grandparents day lol
In the 1960s we knitted and crocheted and mended with floral patches and it was as much a fashion statement as it was the need to spend limited cash carefully.
I still floral patch jeans or now though at 62 it may not look that cool any more  .... but my last patch was a 'boro' patch!
It is a good thing that folks are no longer embarrassed to buy and wear 2nd hand, all be it they prefer to call it 'retro'! It saves on landfill, its reusing items that still have useable life in them and its respecting the products weve acquired and produced.
Its shameful that we so carelessly turf things out that could be passed on, not valuing them or the others that might want or need them. 

We have bags left at the door and they are from 'organisations', not charities, and they take whats put in the bag and sell it in the third world, asking high prices for items we've discarded.
They dont use the contents to make mop heads any longer!
I never fill those bags lol

Rug-Aid is charity operating in the Gambia, set up by the internationally renowned rag rugger Heather Ritchie.
Its aim is to teach the blind there to make a living for themselves.
The blind are looked down on by Gambian society, they are 'maimed' and can only beg for money to eat, not work.
But she's taught many to make rag rugs..............clippy rugs, which they are able to sell (for a pittance really ) to tourists.
Amazingly its given many of them a confidence, a little cash to eat with, a sense of purpose and is raising their status ( to human!) amongst the society they live in.
Heather says she goes to the markets over there and buys the cotton tshirts from the stalls that sell the cast offs from our western world.
She then cuts them up into strips so they can be used to make rag rugs.

The Gambians were appalled at first, that she would cut up what they considered to be, still wearable and relatively expensive clothing!
They couldnt afford to buy them to wear but having raised funds, she could go buy them, so the blind might make rugs and earn a living!
It does sound daft doesnt it lol

Rug Aid is a heart warming story of a womans insight and the fact that rugs are made from our cast off clothing, is perhaps the only glimmer of justice in the sale of our 2nd hand clothing, to the third world in that area.
There the value of 'rags' has a value way beyond the financial.
Pop over to the website and read the reports Heather has put together after her visits............its humbling and interesting.

My daughter with her nephew........chuckling at the owl and the pussycat
its heart warming this one if youve a cat...or owl!


  1. Thanks for the link for rug aid. What a generous and creative woman. I love your owl and heart. Owls have such beautiful faces. Everytime I watch that video I laugh and wish my cats would befriend something other than stray cats they think should join the clan. :-) I was also brought up to "make do". Mending, darning, wearing clothes out, and hand me down clothes - which were my favorite since I was the youngest girl in the first wave of cousins (there are 19 of us on my Dad's side.) I loved getting new to me clothes and then learned to sew and alter my own. I laugh when I see what is called "retro". Have a beautiful week.

  2. Lyn, I adore your sweet owl. So glad you wrote about what happens to some of our discards and about Rug Aid, too. Good works are going on in the world. The owl and cat video is precious and so is the photo...xo



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