Getting items back in fashion

An example of some of fashion designer Connie Takarangi’s upstyled clothing made from recycled materials. She is leading workshops at the museum this month to show people how to do it themselves at home.

A series of workshops at Te Awamutu Museum this month could be the gift that keeps on giving for those who want to make stylish clothes using recycled materials.

Led by Taupō fashion designer Connie Takarangi in collaboration with the museum, the three ‘Make Do and Mend’ workshops start on Monday, January 18. They will provide Waipā residents with an opportunity to learn how to create a range of high fashion items using recycled materials.

Two of the workshops, on January 18 and 20, will focus on fascinators and hats, while the second being held on January 19, will look at brooches and cuffs.  Both will look at upcycling discarded items into new fashion wear.

Connie, who mainly works with fabric and trims sourced through second-hand shops, owns Taupō Alterations. She said the workshops will connect to a World War 11 theme of making do with what is at hand.

“In this time of great change, people are looking for something unique,” she said. “Repurposing pre-loved everyday items of clothing is great for our environment and challenges you to be creative with those bits and bobs you may have at home.  At these workshops, everyone will make something unique, taking inspiration from the Formal Friday exhibition at the museum.”

Te Awamutu Museum exhibitions co-ordinator Henriata Nicholas said this type of eco-fashion has really taken off as a cost-effective way of creating new fashion trends.

“In Aotearoa New Zealand, it is estimated that 100 million kilos of textile waste is dumped each year [Revell, 2018]. These workshops will teach you how easy it is to start looking at textile waste as potential resources for new fashion items.”

More information on the workshops, and booking details, is from the museum on 07 872 0085 or via

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