Social & Environmental Responsibility is at the fore in all that I do, how the business is run, the choice of products stocked in the shop, and the services I use. I am sensitive to the needs of my local community, my global neighbours, the climate and the natural world. As a designer maker, I am commited to a sustainable textile practise and have been paving the way for 15 years.
Building Community is very close to to my heart. I strive to find ways to bring people together and feel that craft activity is a powerful tool in making this happen. A strong community is a powerful force in creating a sense of belonging, well being, friendships, support, opportunities and making change!
Education is what remains when what has been learnt has been lost. My aim is to offer a high quality educational experience which encourages learners to tap into their own creativity and to build their confidence and personal develpment through skill based, hands on learning with a creativity approach.
Barley Massey's approach to 'Upcycling':
For over 10 years I have been transforming local waste into desirable and functional products and services. Materials are collected and donated from a variety of sources including local business. I also have a good working relationship with 'LMB' a family run recycling factory in Canning Town, East London. Once back in the studio, materials are sorted, washed and categorised into different colours, textures and fibres so that I have a fantastic palette to work with. I have developped my own 'closed loop' system inorder to keep my own waste down to an absolute minimum. Any damaged materials or off cuts are re used through my educational workshops and 'Rethink Rubbish' craft kits.
Over the last couple of years ‘upcycling’ has become a bit of a buzzword, but many people are still unsure what it means or misappropriate the word. The term was popularised by the 2002 book ‘Cradle to Cradle’ ‘Remaking the way we make things’ by William Mc Donough and Michael Braungart. The book identified how materials being recycled actually downgrade and use more resources whereas materials being upcycled gain quality and value and impact less on the environment.
I have been a professional upcycler for over 15 years. I introduced the term upcycling into my vocabulary after being invited to make a presentation of my textile practise at the ‘Upcycling – adding value through design’ symposium organised by TED – Textile Environment Design at Chelsea college of Art + Design. For me upcycling is not only the process of transforming, giving new life, stories and meanings to waste materials but I see this resourceful approach as a framework to do more with less and to action positive social and environmental changes within ourselves, locally and globally