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Rag Tag Ntextile 1

Rag Tag and Textile

Creative social enterprise supporting the wellbeing of islanders

As an island, it's more down to the local community to provide support and facilities for rural isolation and mental health than perhaps it would be in a big city.
Gillian Terry, board member, Rag Tag and Textile

Mental and social wellbeing and environment-friendly upcycling 

RagTag is a social enterprise based on the Isle of Skye. They are a charitable organisation which supports the personal and social growth of vulnerable local people. They run community workshops where their students learn a range of skills including creating upcycled crafts, using donated textiles diverted from landfill.

Workshops take place in Broadford, which is also home to the RagTag charity shop, where many of the students’ creations are sold to the public. Students also keep or gift their work to friends and family.

Members of the public are welcome to participate in occasional ‘open workshops’ on upcycled crafting as well as creative writing, clothes making and cataloguing local wildlife.

Visit the RagTag website

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Supporting a circular economy

Higher quality clothing which can be resold goes to the RagTag shop to raise funds to support the charity. They also sell bric-a-brac and household donations. 

All other usable fabrics and textiles are used in the upcycling workshops, or sold to a charity who recycle the items, helping divert items from landfill.

The charity is in the process of rolling out ‘repair cafes’, a new initiative educating members of the public on how to make and repair their own clothes, addressing waste and over consumption in the fashion industry, and also offer monthly collections of small electrical items to be tested, refurbished and sold to a new home.

Within the last 12-18 months, RagTag has also developed a ‘green wellbeing’ garden, and now offers workshops in the garden for both students and members of the public. Natural craft projects link participants to their local landscape and natural environment.

bride and groom soft toys sold by RagTag

Supporting community mental health and wellbeing

Workshop sessions are led by professionally qualified tutors, many of whom have arts degrees and other crafting qualifications. In addition to picking up practical and technical skills, students develop their social skills, and often get satisfaction  from seeing their creations take shape, and potentially be offered for sale in the RagTag shop.

Individuals with low employability skills can be helped to develop these skills and move into paid employment. 

RagTag receives some funding from the NHS to support their delivery of mental health and wellbeing activities. This covers the cost of up to 15 of the students each week. Services are free for all attendees at the point of use.

Grant income is also available from various private sources as well as through the ‘think nature, think health’ programme from the Highland Third Sector Interface.

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Rag Tag and Textile

Customers are seeking secondhand clothing and upcycled goods as an alternative to buying new in an attempt to minimise the environmental impact of their consumption.

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