Cast your mind back to 2019 and you may remember our amazing fashion upcycling collaboration with Larbert High School. We had hoped this would be the first of many however sadly, like many things this year, plans had to change.

Mhairi McAinsh, Teacher of Art & Design and Community Arts at Larbert High, said: “COVID-19 was never going to stop us producing the collection this year and we always embrace a challenge at Larbert High. With an estimated 50 million tons of clothing discarded every year, we are passionate about encouraging everyone to buy vintage or reuse and repurpose their old clothes and furniture. This year, students from S3, Senior Community Arts and Practical Woodwork classes, have created a collection of repurposed garments and upcycled furniture/interior accessories which are now for sale in the Strathcarron Hospice Bridge of Allan Vintage Shop, helping to reduce waste and generate valuable monies for the Hospice.”

Ordinarily, the collection would go on show at our annual Glitz & Glam event but, due to COVID-19, the collection is now also available to view via photography and film. This has enabled Larbert High to include a record-number of students and departments in the project, including S5 Higher Photography and Media, and there is even a group of S3 pupils who will now be accredited with a Painting and Decorating Unit Award from the SQA.

Sophie Calderwood, an S6 pupil integral to the project and a volunteer at our Stenhousemuir Shop, said: “With my volunteering at the local branch and these incredible events, I have had some extraordinarily rewarding experiences. Because of this project, and volunteering, I can truly appreciate the important impact and just how vital an asset the shops are, especially in the world's current climate."

Colin Meikle, (Acting) Rector, added: “We have a strong partnership with Strathcarron and it has continued to grow in spite of the challenging times we all face. Larbert High School’s staff and pupils have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in this project and embraced every opportunity to think creatively, collaborate across subject areas and develop their leadership skills.

The results of this photo shoot are a true reflection of their talent and imagination and we are excited to share the final video with everyone. We are proud to work with Strathcarron as the impact of their work can be felt across our community and we look forward to further strengthening our partnership as we plan more ventures as part of our curriculum.”

We are so proud of the partnership that we have with Larbert High School.  The creativity, hard work and determination that we have seen from Mhairi McAinsh, all staff and pupils involved has been inspirational.

It goes without saying that this has not been the year that anyone expected. With all the challenges we have faced this year, it has been remarkable to have worked on a project that sends out so many positive messages whilst raising much needed funds for the Hospice.  This has been a truly special journey and we look forward to many more in the future!

With special thanks to all of the pupils and staff at Larbert High School involved in the project: Mhairi McAinsh, Ruth Hamilton, Steven Stafford, Hannah Thomson, Lee Thomson, Gary Balfour ASD and Samantha Blair.

If you're interested in partnering with our retail shops, please contact Fiona Hannah, Deputy Area Manager, on [email protected]. We'd love to hear from you.