An Appointment with Dr Noki
Caroline Swarbrick Marketing Events & Digital Co-ordinator for Oxfam trading
8th May 2012
Teresa Collenette blogs about being in surgery with Dr Noki at the shwop lab on the 5th May
When Tanya and I arrived at the 'Shwop' Lab for Dr Noki's interactive workshop I had no idea what to expect beyond some creative upcycling, the perfect activity for a Saturday, I thought. In fact, unbeknown to me, I was about to participate in an outright act of creative anarchy! By the end of the session I was a converted follower of Dr Noki's NHS, (Noki's House of Sustainability) and also, I have to say, quite impressed by the results of my own modest handiwork!
The task for the day was to deconstruct branded T- shirts to create a new one-off piece of fashion. This involved cutting an assortment of T -shirts into strips, which we then stretched and looped together to make balls of yarn that would ultimately be crocheted into one unique 'statement' garment. As all the participants sat round the large table performing the different stages of production, it felt like we were part of a communal workshop or a factory. It was very therapeutic to snip away and to be completely absorbed in a practical activity far removed from our daily
routines. The repetitive nature of what I was doing did also make me stop to think of workers round the world, whose jobs require them to perform repetitive tasks on a daily basis. It was so easy to lose the thread (well, yarn!) and to make a mistake!
The room was a hive of activity with a buzz of snipping, conversation, and the exhortations of Dr Noki himself, motivating the workers in their communal mission. The 'Doctor's' customisation of unwanted clothing that might otherwise end up in landfill is indeed a potent statement against mass-produced fashion branding and a practical manifesto encouraging us all to embrace a hands-on approach to what we choose to wear. With his surgical mask and scissors, Dr Noki is ready to cut a swathe through the world of fashion. His passion and fervour are infectious
and his creative visions are BIG! By the end of a couple of hours, I was a signed-up disciple and I was also excited to see I had managed to create a whole ball of yarn in spite of a few mistakes. When Tanya joined her yarn to mine the fruits of our labour looked even more impressive though this did take a couple of attempts as I kept trying to knot the wrong ends together!
images from Unity with thanks
It was an inspiring workshop on many levels and I left feeling energised and excited for the future of sustainable fashion in all its guises. Every fashion lover interested in the sustainable future of fashion should make an appointment with Dr Noki!