Looking forward to my copy of ‘Rooms from remnants: Fifty Low-cost Projects to Transform Your Home‘ by Janette Swift, bought second-hand of course. 

I think the 50 home decor projects she shares, which include picture and mirror frames, lamps and mosaics, all made from recycled materials, will be as useful and relevant today as in 1994.

Janette was ahead of the curve on what’s thankfully become a growing movement. Just look at this lovely recent drawer upcycle by thebudgetdecorator.com


Oxfam logo

I met the book’s author the other week and we talked about her original recycled fashion design shop ‘NoLoGo’, which she ran in conjunction with Oxfam GB on Marylebone High Street in the ’90s – and which inspired the title of Naomi Klein‘s famous corporation-antidote text.

NoLoGo sold one-off designs created from old and second-hand clothes.

Janette told The Independent in 1993:

My idea was to open a shop run by fashion students where all the clothes were recycled, the prices were cheap and all the money went to the Third World.”

rooms from remnants (1)
Upcycling in the 90s

To get the shop up and running, electricians worked for nothing and local companies donated materials. NoLoGo generated £25,000 for Oxfam the year after it started.

Ms Swift is still designing amazing clothes and a lover of the 5 Rs: refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose, recycle.

She liked the idea of this blog and told me to keep flying the flag! And she had on a pretty cool outfit.

Fabric off cuts:

Second-hand book suppliers: