InvernessTown Hall will become a Wonderland on Thursday (Oct 7), as it hosts a unique fashion show.
As part of a number of national events raising awareness for Mental Health Week through the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival, the Highland award winning social enterprise employer, Rag Tag 'n' Textile is launching its in Wonderland inspired collection of unique 'upcycled' garments.
The business creates environmentally sound, high quality, individually crafted products out of recycled textiles. Its social remit provides jobs, training and support for vulnerable adults recovering from mental health problems. Since 2008 over 400 people have been directly involved.
"One of our main aims is about breaking down the stigma around mental health and supporting people who find that employment can raise confidence and aid recovery. At any one time at least 50% of our staff have additional support needs," said Cindie Reiter, business development manager at Rag Tag 'n' Textile.
"We're hoping that the launch of our winter collection will bring Cheshire Cat wide smiles to our audience. It will be great fun with amazing outfits for all the main characters including Alice, the Queen of Hearts and not to forget Mad hatter hats, all accompanied by fairy cakes on recycled stands made by our designers.
"The quality of work is vitally important to us, but even more so is the message that people who suffer from mental health issues have skills and talents which should not be discounted or forgotten."
The products will all be for sale on the night and orders can also be placed for different sizes and colour choices, with every single garment being unique.
The on-going ambitions of Rag Tag 'n' Textile are supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). Supporting the growth of ambitious social enterprise networks is a key priority for us.
HIE's Eilidh Ross, who works closely with the business commented: "As well as being a great asset for Skye and Lochalsh, and the wider Highlands, Rag Tag 'n' Textile are a glowing example of a social firm which works hard to balance its social and economic purpose, providing vital support services while being innovative in seeking new opportunities in the market.
"They make a huge difference to the lives of their staff and volunteers and have successfully assisted many people back into employment, who wouldn't otherwise have been able."
Rag Tag 'n' Textile has worked in partnership with a number of organisations in order to make the show a success and the event is supported by Highland Council.
Highland Council's Health Improvement Officer, Keith Walker, said: "The benefits of creativity and the arts to people suffering mental health issues are well established and Rag Tag 'n' Textile blend this with an innovative approach to social enterprise. The high standard of their creations will shine through at this fashion show - prepare to be impressed, amazed and above all entertained."
Anyone interested in coming to the show should contact Rag Tag 'n' Textile on 01599 566 793 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org