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36 Macaulay Dr
Lincoln, LN2 4ED
United Kingdom

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Reduce waste now! five super simple ways with fabric

Alexa Mottram

Good morning!

How are you and your family doing on your journey towards zero waste?

It’s become popular since blue planet, and for those of us who have been doing this for ages, you’d think it would be old hat. But on the contrary! It has challenged and inspired us anew, and the influx of interest has generated lots of fresh, inventive, and in many cases, beautiful ways to be kinder to the earth.

How about beeswax sandwich wraps to make you want to go on a picnic? or make your own pack-up lunch to save on the daily slew of disposable wrapping and packaging! They’re simple and quick to make, all natural and a genuine pleasure to make and use - I love the smell of beeswax, and making good use of lovely pieces of fabric, which can - even better - be upcycled from an old favourite linen shirt, cotton pillow slip or something else that doesn’t deserve the bin!

Check out Wendy’s illustrated instructions or if you don’t have the time, patience or inclination to make them yourself, Carly and Fran have done all the work for you, and you can order them straight from their little shop on the interwebs, and they have chosen some really cute fabrics (I especially like the teenager one)! And when they’re worn out, they’re fully biodegradable, closing the the loop, and feeding the little soil critters and plants in your garden!

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It’s fab that lots of councils are now collecting compostable waste, but lots aren’t still. If your council is lagging behind the times - or even if they’re already collecting it - everyone’s garden can enjoy the benefits of fresh, earthy garden compost without all the transport.

If you need to few tips to get you going, check out the really useful composting advice from the Eden Project.

Garden too small? Can I recommend a wormery? I get a disproportionate amount of joy from looking after a crateful of the wee wigglers! A wormery can be way smaller than a compost bin of any kind.

Scraps (including cooked food) go in the top. Plant feed comes out the tap at the bottom. (Or as my allotment friend calls it, rocket fuel!). Bob’s your uncle!

If you are feeling creative, it’s not hard to make you own - using car tyres, upcycled mushroom crates, a reclaimed bath, or - rather splendid if you have one knocking around - an old belfast sink.

Almost all textiles still end up in landfill, but a few companies are getting more inventive, and they’re worth supporting!

We’re impressed with Rapanui  who, as well as tracking the environmental impact of their stuff at every stage of it’s journey, also invite you to return their clothes for recycling when you’ve finished with them, and give you store credit in exchange. On the high street, M&S offer vouchers for taking their clothes to Oxfam.

It’s a bonus to have an added incentive, but it would be nice if everyone took their stuff to charity shops in any case. You don’t need to worry about whether your clothes are trendy enough, or in good enough condition to re-sell because most charity shops raise money through sending waste textiles for recycling.

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It’s worth checking with your local charity shop first as you don’t want to insult them, (and unfortunately a few still pay to dispose of textile waste) but you can even take holey socks and worn out, ripped stuff. We take the leather and textile scraps from making your motties - the bits that are too small to be made into slippers - to our local charity shop, St Barnabas, who raised approximately £170,000 from recycling over 400 tonnes of textiles - mostly items that they were unable to sell, keeping it out of landfill!

I want to boast that I was using fabric and ribbons to wrap my Christmas presents yonks before Lush made it popular, but I didn’t think to make a load of groovy video instructions for wrapping funny shapes, as Lush have helpfully done!

One of our friends on Facebook told us that she re-uses packaging to mail her handmade gifts to her customers. At the moment, we use recycled paper bags and envelopes to package your motties (definitely no plastic!), and we hope you will re-use them or compost them. Is it time we upped our game on this - how would you feel about receiving your motties in re-used packaging? Let us know what you think @mottiesUK

All the materials that we use to make your motties are reclaimed - the leather uppers and soles are off-cuts from the furniture industry, and the soft inner is made of stacked up fabrics, from towels to pyjamas to jeans. You can also send them back to us for repairs when they’re looking a little too well worn!

Look out for more on how we make your motties, coming soon, and if you’d like our blog straight to your in-box, you can sign up at the bottom of our homepage.






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Hygge: How to fall in love with Autumn

Alexa Mottram

I love this time of year! Are you grieving the passing of summer? Hear me out!

The blackberries and rosehips in the hedges! The sparkling artwork of spiders! The earthy freshness in the morning, and the twinkle in the evening! The daylight has a different quality to the rest of the year - it’s soft and golden, like a sigh.

It’s also because I am a local-foodie and a gardener: Autumn has an abundance, a generosity. I love harvesting plums from our local community orchard - they’re like strings of lanterns in the trees, ruby and purple and golden. I love the local organic gardeners’ apple day, and the communal chopping and juicing of this year’s fruit!

I make pumpkin pie. I used to run cooking groups at the children’s centre, and I would let the little ones grind the spices and mash the fresh ginger - it’s easy and delightful. Now I do this at home each year, for my own enjoyment and the wonderful smell!

One thing I’ve had since my eldest child was born is an Autumn box. It’s where the jumpers and hats and scarves get stashed at the end of Spring. And also certain treasures that I keep for the Autumn - candles and candle arbres, certain seasonal picture books, and objects that that don’t survive the Spring cleaning! The smell of last winter’s sweet spicey pomanders scent the entire contents.

I open it when school’s back. I love the new school year. Maybe it is the Hermione Granger in me - the smell of fresh parchment and all that! - and shaking off the boredom of the long holidays. I like getting into the groove of the weekly rhythms of life and work, I like new projects, new ideas.

Autumn has a new energy. The long, restless days of summer contract: it’s still light when I get up in the morning, but now dark when I want to snuggle down at night. I like cwtshing up (thank you, Welsh language for that most descriptive of words) with my darlings in the dark evenings under a blanket in front of a film. And it’s dark when I take my little one to bed. Sleep is good!

I love togging up my little one, now the big ones are back at school, and going out together crunching through the dry horse chestnut leaves, looking for conkers and fir cones for the fire, and I love his little rosy cheeks!

And I like wearing clothes myself! I like a wool jumper and leather boots, I like wearing my scarf in the wind and feeling like Le Petit Prince!

Five lovely ways to get into Autumn:

  1. Listen to Martha Tilston’s Stag’s Bellow

  2. Go hedgerow harvesting.If you’ve missed the blackberries where you live this year, harvest sloes to make some sloe gin.

  3. Find your motties. Put them on. Feel happy and cosy. Do they need a little tlc?

  4. As the light fades outside, light the fires inside. If you don’t have a fire, a candle will do.

  5. Make pumpkin pie. Using fresh spices, obviously.

What lovely things do you do at this time of year? Share the love with us on social media @mottiesUK #motties

Laura Stratford