Funded Projects


Glasgow Climate Action Hub (Dec 2023 – March 2024)

Thanks to support from the Glasgow Climate Action Hub, Rags to Riches was able to deliver 20 events in a short period, from practical hands-on workshops, to compelling film screenings, we engaged a diverse demographic of audiences in climate based activities, across G41 & G42 postcodes, and further afield.

Govanhill Youth Climate Mural

We consulted with and engaged young people in Govanhill, asking them what future they wanted to see in terms of climate action in the local area. We hosted a participatory arts workshop with 18 seven to eleven year olds (P4-P7) from Govanhill Youth Club with visual artist Molly Hankinson. The groups ideas and illustrations where there immortalised in a colourful, activism focussed mural painted in a prominent location on Calder Street, beside Govanhill Baths.

Plastic Reuse – Community collectors

We ran a community recycling programme of PP5 & PP2 (HDPE) plastics whereby community members and local businesses dropped of their waste plastics for reuse in our custom-build closed-loop recycling system. The campaign ‘Bottles to Benches’ was launched and resulted in 29kg of plastic being collected and turned into benches for the local area.

We collected;

9.80 kg of HDPE (The equivalent of 6500 milk bottle tops!)

19.20 kg of PP (The equivalent to 1300 instant coffee lids!)

Climate Cafe – Action Sessions

We ran a series of free climate action sessions, where participants learnt new practical skills by reusing commonly wasted materials. These included; Building skills & confidence in building with pallets, Make your own compost bins, Beginners sewing using reclaimed materials,  Mending workshops, Social sewing & Upcycling.

Climate Day of Action & Fair Fashion Festival (Saturday 23rd March, 2024)

On Saturday 23rd March 2024 we hosted a Climate Day of Action across multiple venues in the Southside. The day including a Repair Cafe with Repair Cafe Glasgow at Govanhill Library, a series of workshops at the Deep End and events at seven local Fair Fashion businesses as part of a Fair Fashion Festival.

We screened two films in collaboration with Take One Action; The Golden Thread (2022 – 1 hour 30mins), a mesmerising, tactile, and laden with visual poetry, The Golden Thread captures the last vestiges of the jute industry in Kolkata, India: where a few mills have been weaving this sustainable alternative to plastic with 100-year-old machinery, practically unchanged since the industrial revolution. This screening took place alongside a participatory weaving exercise.

And Fashion Reimagined (2022 – 1 hour 32 mins) which followed fashion designer Amy Powney, the creative director of luxury fashion label Mother of Pearl, who had  always been uneasy about the devastating impacts of her industry on the environment, animals, and textile workers. When she wins the coveted Vogue award for the Best Young Designer of the Year, she decides to use the cash prize to create a sustainable collection, No Frills – and embarks on a journey across Turkey, Uruguay, and Peru to minimise harm across every step of the supply chain. Fashion Reimagined follows Powney as she sets out to understand the winding path that takes raw material to finished garment in today’s fashion industry – and illuminates the true difficulty of trying to demand better.

The Uphub (April 2020 – March 2022)

The UpHub project grew out of the successful Rags To Riches (R2R) social enterprise, which was founded in 2009.

The R2R team saw the need to expand its capabilities in making items from repurposed wood, plastic and textiles. The UpHub was born, and eventually awarded a Climate Challenge Fund grant for April 2020-March 2022 which will help with this expansion by providing financial resources for many aspects of the project like staffing, refurbishment, machinery, rent, workshops, etc.

The UpHub works to continue and expand the success of R2R and provide the Govanhill community with education around climate change, practical upcycling workshops, items for purchase from the online retail shop, employability opportunities and a generous carbon savings.

While the funding for this project is now complete, we are continuing on with our work at the UpHub. To read about the work we’ve been doing as a part of The Climate Challenge Fund you can read our Final Report here.

Textile Workshop

Wood Workshop

Plastics Recycling Hub

Machines

We have a suite of machines from Precious Plastics designs: an extruder, a compression oven and a compression mould machine.Our pride and joy is our ‘new’ granulator: a 1998 Rapid Maskin AB granulator. It grinds up whatever plastic we put in (so far HDPE and PLA) and will save hundreds of hours of labour compared to our smaller shredder.With our extruder we can make square and round beams from various kinds of plastic, up to 2 metres long and a large enough diameter to use in some light duty construction of furniture, objects, small structures, and whatever else we can think of. We are keen to develop new and exciting products with our extruder, and to include the community in our progress.

Our manual compression machine is capable of pressing heated plastic into a mould. We have one mould about the size of a mini drinks coaster, but we are experimenting with new moulds so we have more variety in our capabilities.

The compression oven is basically a small oven with a contraption beneath it that squeezes the heated plastic using a scissor-style automotive jack adapted for use with the machine. We are developing various products with this machine, mostly flat, tray shaped items, but we continue to experiment with various shapes and sizes.

What are we making?

We specialise in working with repurposed textiles, wood and plastic. You can find some of our wares on the Rags to Riches online shop or by taking a walk around Govanhill and the surrounding areas with a keen eye out for our community builds, planters and art installations. Take a look at what we’ve been up to below!

Interested in our work? Get in touch with us at either uphub@govanhillbaths.com or ragstoriches@govanhillbaths.com.

A project by:

The UpHub and Climate Challenge Fund

The UpHub was awarded a total of £185, 404 by the Climate Challenge Fund. Find out more about the Fund here.