Sowing seeds of sustainability

We’ve all heard of ‘grow your own’ but what about ‘sew your own?’ Want to save money by going green? Journalist and author John-Paul Flintoff has a few tips to get you started.

John-Paul, writer for The Times, Telegraph and The Guardian, was the star guest at our Family Eco Event. Whilst talking to residents about his decision to make his own clothes and toys, local people learnt how to sew, make soap and even discover the versatility of the avocado.

Forget Ebay, the give and take stall gave families the chance to swap anything from TV’s to toys. People walked off with whatever they wanted and no money changed hands as one family’s junk became another’s treasure.

The event also received a ‘green’ thumbs-up from residents. Warda Shebani got her bike fixed whilst Emily Williams enjoyed learning how to make soap. Resident Ayan Askar also picked up a few tips and some books. Ayan said: ‘It was good to have so much under the same roof; I found some cooking books, I was told how to sow some seeds and I learnt how to sew’.

A big congratulation to residents Emily Williams, Amina Ismail and Hildreth Alexander who won our raffle and all walked away with a signed copy of John-Paul’s book, Sew Your Own.

This event is part of our health and well-being programme provided by the Catalyst Gateway team, and is in line with our sustainability policy. For more details on the community initiatives provided by Catalyst Gateway, please visit