Lewisham encouraged to "Make Do and Mend” for April Creative Challenge

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April's creative challenge is all about sustainable fashion

Lewisham’s London Borough of Culture gets a sartorial makeover in April with the launch of the Make Do and Mend creative challenge. Local designer Karen Arthur takes the helm to help deliver a month of fashion and fun with sustainability at its heart.

There’s a lot to look forward to. From 6 April, the We Are Lewisham Hub in Lewisham Shopping Centre transforms into the epitome of sustainable fashion as residents are invited to drop in and learn how to give old clothes a new lease of life. All equipment – including sewing machines – is provided but participants are welcome to bring their own material, if they wish.

The month culminates in a fashion show in Lewisham Shopping Centre on Friday 29 April. Hosted by Karen Arthur, locals will have the opportunity to show off their stylish creations by hitting the catwalk themselves or having them modelled by someone else.

Children are encouraged to get creative too and throughout the Easter Holidays are invited to drop into the hub, where they will learn how to sew by adding fabrics and other items to a pre-loved coat. Their handiwork will be displayed in the catwalk show. Please note children will need to be supervised at all times by a parent or carer.

The April fashion challenge is supported by developer, Landsec, owners of Lewisham Shopping Centre. The focus is on up-skilling, inspiring, empowering and supporting a change in the relationship residents have with their clothes.

Karen Arthur said:

“Fashion is all about self-expression. It should be fun and feelgood but without costing us the earth. Most of us have outfits languishing in the backs of cupboards and bottom of drawers that haven’t seen the light of day in years. Perhaps they’re broken, don’t fit or have gone out of fashion. Rather than binning them and adding to the millions of tonnes of clothes already on landfill – let’s make, do and mend.

“I’m so excited to be part of the April Fashion Challenge. I hope it will inspire people to learn new skills, get creative and make lower impact fashion choices. Reusing and upcycling clothes is a subject close to my heart. I can’t wait to share the tips and tricks I’ve picked up with my fellow residents and to see all their glorious creations on the catwalk at the end of the month.”

Paul Redden, Centre Director at Lewisham Shopping Centre, commented:

“We are pleased to welcome the We Are Lewisham hub to the centre, as part of the Lewisham London Borough of Culture 2022 celebrations.

“With the help of local designer Karen Arthur, guests will learn how to upcycle old clothes and the importance of fashion sustainability. We are confident that our guests will enjoy the free drop-in sessions and we are looking forward to seeing the final designs at the fashion show on Friday 29 April.”

Make Do and Mend is the fourth of 12 monthly creative challenges being delivered through We Are Lewisham’s programme, as London Borough of Culture, a Mayor of London initiative. Residents are encouraged to follow @WeAreLewisham on social media to get the latest updates and watch upcycling tips from Karen Arthur.

We Are Lewisham celebrates the borough’s rich diversity; providing a platform for the voices of local young people; inspiring climate action through art, music, performance, poetry, discussion and debate – highlighting the power of culture to create change. For more information, please visit

Make Do and Mend

Find out more about April's creative challenge - Make Do and Mend.

Make Do and Mend