In pictures: Let’s Go Circular at Grand Arcade
It was all-go at the Grand Arcade in Cambridge over half-term week as the shopping centre staged a number of events and activities centred around Let’s Go Circular, the centre’s flagship sustainability-focused event.
The nine-day event (October 21-29) brought a packed schedule of exhibitions, activities, pop-up stalls, and, new for 2023, a pre-loved pop-up shop and a ticketed eco-fashion show as the best circular economy initiatives were celebrated from across the UK.
Organisations taking part in this year’s Let’s Go Circular included: Give Your Best, Cambridge Carbon Footprint, Millers Music, Eco Bee, Sew Positive, Reimagine, Trash Chic, Qhere, Fantasia, Mouse and Bear, the Cambridge Independent’s very own Kath Goodwin, Bubbly Bandits, Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT), Cambridge Libraries, Full Circle, Cambridge Sustainable Food, Flora Laura and Kidzfair.
Julie Kervadec, marketing manager at Grand Arcade, said: “It’s been a fantastic edition this year; as you know we started this initiative last year and because it was really successful – all the workshops were fully booked – we had a lot of demand for another edition this year.
“We had more than 20 local organisations involved, 17 free workshops for everyone to enjoy – from how to repair your clothes, or reuse materials from your clothes to create something else, to how to cook to avoid food waste and what to do with an old instrument you don’t want anymore...
“We were also showcasing initiatives from retailers – so we had John Lewis, who did a very nice display across the centre, showing what they do to have circular fashion, but also their recycling beauty scheme and rental clothing initiatives.
“We had Levi’s, who were also very involved. They did free repair workshops, so you could learn how to mend clothes. We were trying to tackle lots of different topics through all the workshops and displays in the mall.”
Not-for-profit social enterprise Give Your Best – the first circular platform where people can donate clothes online so refugee women and children and other communities living in clothing poverty can shop for free – joined forces with Grand Arcade to host The Good Fashion Show, which took place on Thursday (October 26).
“Give Your Best created an online platform for people to give their clothes,” explained Julie, “a bit like Vinted but instead of selling your clothes on the platform, you donate them to refugees and asylum seekers.
“The fashion show took place on the first floor of Grand Arcade; we had 16 models, all refugees, some of them participated with their children – and they were wearing clothes which were donated by brands, including quite a few brands from Grand Arcade.
“Our shops also gave goodies for goody bags, so it was a very nice event as part of Let’s Go Circular. It’s been really busy – again, most workshops were fully booked and there is demand for more.
“Also, for the first time, we had a pre-loved clothing pop-up shop with a few different local brands. Velvet magazine [the Cambridge Independent’s sister magazine] was taking part, with Kath Goodwin, who was repairing some clothes and giving styling advice to people. The pop-up was on Saturday and Sunday.
“The pre-loved pop-up was really successful over the weekend and people have been asking if we’re going to do more of them.”
For more information on the centre, go to grandarcade.co.uk.