Part of marking Year of Environment is celebrating those helping to make a difference through their everyday lives to improve our environment, one self-proclaimed ‘environmental disciple’ is Karen Lawson, who founded upcycling business – Re-Jiggery.
Karen’s passion for leaving our planet in a better state for the next generation and reducing waste, spurred her on to ditch her career in environmental science and combine her interest in the environment with her creative passion and flare for upcycling.
The artisan explained:
“Upcycling is about changing the use of something, reusing, rescuing and improving its state so that it doesn’t need to go to landfill, which is a massive problem.”
“I decide to launch the business to help and I’m fortunate to be doing something I’ve loved to do since I was younger. It’s so rewarding taking something that needs a new life and making it look vibrant again.”
Re- jiggery based in Hoylake, is Karen’s workshop, shared with two fellow artisans, Sue and Dee who run independent businesses, one creating bespoke hats and the other an artist and ceramicist. Both are environmentally conscious and always looking for opportunities to reduce their environmental footprint. Combined the trio bounce ideas on how to restore or what to do next to spread the recycling revolution and to help others get involved – factoring in plenty of laughs along the way.
Sharing what she loves most about upcycling Karen said:
“It’s so satisfying knowing you’re stopping something that is perfectly useable from going to landfill and improving its state. Seeing the reactions of others to what I can create is so rewarding, especially when items are of sentimental value.”
“Sharing space with like-minded people such as Sue and Dee, helps a lot - to spread the word of recycling ,it also lets us bounce ideas off each other which is another bonus.”
“ I also love that It’s an inclusive activity, which anyone can get involved with. Upcycling has so many benefits, not only for the environment but for mental wellbeing too.”
Keen to get more people into upcycling Karen runs workshops alongside the business, teaching others the skills to change the recycling game. People can bring in their own item or one can be provided along with all materials – which are recycled, of course.
If it’s something you’re interested in you can find out more information on the Re-Jiggery Facebook page: facebook.com/rejiggery.
To make a pledge for Year of Environment or find out more about the initiative visit the Year of Environment website.
If you'd like to have a go at upcyling take a look at Karen's 'how to guide' on making a trendy mobile phone cover from a tie: