Every year I take a 'Tent Recovery Team' to some of the UK's biggest music festivals to recover some of the 23,500 Tonnes of waste that is generated each year. That's the equivalent of throwing
- 53 Boeing 747's
- 16,000 Ford fiesta's or
- 340,000 washing machines into landfill.
Most of the larger festivals will see an estimated 60,000 tents abandoned. The majority of which will be damaged beyond repair and therefore destined for landfill.
My aim is to simply recover as many tents as possible, purchase industrial sewing machines and turn the fabric into eco-fashion products, including;
- Reusable ponchos
- wash/toiletry bags
- bum bags
- loose fruit and veg bags
The products will then be made available for sale via www.ecofashionhub.com or via trade stands at large events and festivals. Where possible, every part of the tent will be reused including;
- fly sheets
- ground sheets
- inner tents
- guy ropes
- guide lines
Here is a video filmed at last years festivals to show you the task at hand!
Hi my name is Julie Anne Parker. I'm the founder of Million Stars Sustainable Events and the current Great British Entrepreneur Winner For Good.
My vision is to see all events large and small be sustainable.
2019 is the UK's official 'Year of the Environment' or 'YOE19'
Quite simply its not OK to be OK with the 23,500 Tonnes of waste generated by music festivals and the 600,000+ Tonnes of waste generated by the UK hospitality industry.
I tackle the prevention of waste generation by supporting event organisers through our sustainable events and circular economy consultancy. I've created the UK's 1st collaborative learning programme working towards ISO20121 the International Management Standard for sustainable events, making sustainable events accessible and affordable to all organisations not just larger festivals and stadia. However, this in itself is in it's infancy.
Over the past year I've worked with universities and prisons to develop ways of upcycling the tents that are beyond repair and have undertaken substantial research to 'prove the concept' that turning tent fabric into eco-fashion can and does work.
Earlier this year I ran a survey across social media and the name InTENTse was chosen as the name that best reflected the products that I hope to manufacture.
Sew InTENTse will provide weekly 'pop up sewcials' across the North West targeting areas affected by the growing crisis of an aging population. This will create a network of older folk, many of whom are socially isolated, digitally excluded, some are struggling financial and many are pretty nifty with a sewing machine (the North West is built on history of weaving and textile industries)
Sew Intentse members can join us for a freshly cooked meal, an hour or two of sewing tuition to refresh old skills or develop new ones and an opportunity to make some wonderful new products made from waste that would otherwise be destined for landfill.
Tent fabric is very robust and therefore specialist 'industrial' sewing machines are required to handle the fabric and the ability to hire use of professional 'laser cutters' to maximise every part of the tent fabric and mitigate unnecessary wastage from off cuts.
Once products have been manufactured we will need to package them in preparation for posting. We couldn't go to all this effort to post items in single use, plastic mailing bags so I intend to purchase eco-compostable packaging this again is likely to require the purchase of a heat sealant machine to reduce external packaging costs.
We intend to provide a payment by results model with a view to offer paid employment following successful completion of training, topping up pensions and providing extra income which could be a lifeline particularly in areas of social deprivation.
My professional career pre-Million Stars was within Social Housing a role centred around using the environment as a vehicle for tackling social need. I've led projects that train long term unemployed to become bee-keepers and set up their own bee-enterprise businesses, I created and led the Green Apple and Sustainable Housing Award winning, Eco Team project, helping families reduce their energy and water consumption and save money in the process.
In the past 12 months I've reached the finals of the prestigious 'Venturefest North West' finals, pitching about 'sustainable events' and my sew inTENTse vision to over 1,000 people at Manchester Central!
Here's a video of the pitch!
I've been awarded NatWest's Great British Entrepreneur For Good 2018 (North)
Earlier this year I also reached the finals of the Echo Environment Awards in the waste re-use and prevention category!
I'm a School For Social Entrepreneurs Alumni
For the past year I've been on NatWest's Pre-Accelerator and now the Accelerator programme in Manchester.
I'm a self professed 'social entrepreneur' but unfortunately the festivals don't pay us to recover waste. For the past 3 years I've completely self financed the festival waste recovery operation and I've deconstructed hundreds of tents by hand. Not easy whilst building a start up business in its infancy.
I've created Eco Fashion Hub.Com where we plan to sell our InTENTse collection. I've spent the past 12 months conducting market research and taking our products to festivals and events where the response has been phenomenal and we literally can't meet demand! We know this concept works but really need some financial support to scale up manufacturing and bring Sew InTENTse into fruition.
Eco Fashion Hub is currently an online platform however we'd love to create physical hubs right across the UK. These hubs will provide a place for communities to come together and not just make our own inTENTse products but learn how to recycle wardrobes and learn about the principles of a circular economy and textile reuse. Using Slow Fashion to tackle the aging population crisis and ever increasing social isolation problem.
If you'd like to see samples of our products, head over to our Instagram Page, Facebook Page or You Tube Channel. If you like what you see, you can have your very own sew intense reusable bag (made from festival tent groundsheet), Sew Intentse reusable poncho (made from festival tents) or Sew Intentse tote (made from advertising banners, lined with festival tent inner tent fabric) just by pledging to Back Her Business!!
And finally, being an Entrepreneur isn't easy.
- Just 1% of venture capital is awarded to female owned businesses
- Only 1 in 3 entrepreneurs are female
- Less than 6% of businesses are all female led teams
- 8 in 10 businesses will fail within 2 years