Ruby, Kate, Kathy and Elizabeth with some of the elephants created by recycling fabric

Darfield’s elephant herd

by Ann van Engelen

Soft toy elephants created by Sew Delightful in Darfield last term reached the goal of 20 and have been gifted to the Malvern Community Hub and distributed to primary schools in the Selwyn Area.

“Sew Delightful is a community sewing room, which has evolved like recycling, rather than being avalanched. People ask if we can make something and we take up the challenge if possible,” says organiser Elizabeth Connor.

“One of the wonderful projects is the 4KT project, which originated from Dunedin. It highlights the mission to transform clothing and textile waste into 4,000-plus soft toy elephants. Each elephant represents a ton of textile received by Dunedin landfill last year, which significantly contributes to C02 emissions.

“Exploring with found material is an important creative activity to develop skills as children. This act not only teaches us the methodology for problem-solving and design thinking but also how to imagine.

“At Sew Delightful, we are recreating that environment for the wider community, including Darfield Primary School, by using found and donated materials to repurpose and reuse into wonderful creations. It is with thanks to Kate at the school that the children could make the elephants in their lunch break. The children help because the principal believes students need an understanding of helping the community, and we appreciate that very much.

“As items come through the door, we look at them, then create something of use. From elephants to bunting, tote bags, dishcloths and handbags, our sewing room is doing a great job at connecting community, while promoting environmental awareness and encouraging creative expression. Our new project is veggie bags to be given to the elderly people from the Malvern Hub for Christmas gifts.”