Eco-clothes closet



Eco-clothes closet

Digital skill covered

Activity without any digital skills

Learning objectives

The main objectives of this workshop have been several:

a) To learn how to sew and to be able to be promoted in their jobs or to find a job as most of our students we have are unemployed at the moment.

b) To make an approach to our school and get to know the opportunities and courses we offer to all of them such as the courses aimed to learn the official languages from our region as well as to get the Certificate of Secondary Education.

c)To develop social abilities during the sessions by meeting new partners from their country of origin or from other foreign countries and to make a bond among them. Likewise, by attending the sessions, they can leave their domestic sphere for a while and break with the daily routine they always have at home with the housework and children.

d) To be able to reuse and customise the clothes and to find a space where they can exchange or recycle them.

e) To be able to negotiate a price for the clothes they have already made as they have been paid for some of the outfits they have sewn.

f) To be able to design creatively and in an autonomous way as well as learn how to work cooperatively sharing the pieces of clothes, sewing machines and all this stuff.


The migrant women have participated in an Eco-clothes closet at our school from October till June every day and even they have come twice a day in two shifts ( morning and afternoon shifts). During the first sessions, participants didn’t have much idea about how to sew properly, so the different teachers they had, gave them suitable instructions about how to do it. Gradually, as the months went by, they were able to sew in an autonomous way as they learnt the techniques quite quickly. At this point we can say that some of them come from countries in which micro-loans and sewing workshops are very common, therefore it has been easy for them to make a progress fast enough.

Participants were working in three different workshops organized by the teachers. One workshop more recycled-oriented; to mend, the sew buttons, to enlarge clothes, to shorten them etc.. The second one was about how to make teddy bears , handcrafts , cushions, toilet cases, key rings, handbags and so on, and the last one was about starting to design simple dresses, such as ethnic dresses, like the African ones. By the end of the school year, they made an ethnic dress designed by a woman from Senegal, who was one of our students, too. They also sewed the dresses for the final project carried out by the students from the Upper Design School of the Balearic Islands and to do that, they have had to co-work with this reputed institution.

In each session, there was a group of approximately seven women and while some of them were using the sewing machines other ones were using the needles and threads to do it by hand. As a result, they have worked in a cooperative way and they have socialised by helping one another and enjoying their experience a great deal.

Two of the migrant women have even collaborated with a young fashion designer who won the Mercedes Benz Madrid fashion award as the best revelation designer. They worked for her at her atelier for three months.

Apart from mending items of clothes and sewing them, they have also learnt how to make teddy bears, as mentioned before, and other handcrafts, since one of the teachers has been a woman specialized in these types of creations.

It is worth mentioning that two of our students who have participated in our workshops are going to start the secondary school grade next year in order to get the Certificate of Secondary Education in the future. Moreover, for the next school year, we would like some local designers to come and teach them how to design clothes and how to become more creative through patterns, the use of different clothes etc..

Learning outcomes

By the end of the school year, and after having attended a great number of hours in the workshops, participants have been able to learn the basic skills about the world of sewing and some of them have even enlarged the previous knowledge they already had about it.

Likewise, the migrant women have been able to make new friends and work together sharing their ideas and helping one another when meeting difficulties. Apart from that, they have been able to find out a lot of information about our school, such as courses offered to migrant women and other interesting workshops or lectures we organize sometimes. Besides, they have also let our people from their neighbourhood know about our institution, so it has been a very good way to disseminate our Citizens First project.

It is remarkable to say that many of them had never been to an adult school or even to any learning institutions, so it has been a new and grateful experience to live and enjoy.

Variables to take into account (e.g. materials, equipment)
  • instructors: 3
  • equipment: equipment needed to sew like: clothes, pieces of clothing, scissors, sewing machines, needles and colourful threads, foams and all this stuff required.

Recommended number of people

About 90 people divided into the three workshops commented above.

Previous knowledge and skills required for participation No special skills or knowledge required

Recommended duration

Each workshop lasted for about two hours approximately.

References and other useful sources A lot of pictures taken during the different sessions posted on the Citizens first page on Facebook.

This activity has been considered as the «bait» activity for the number of people involved in the different workshops and for being a success for many other reasons. It has been the workshop carried out throughout the school year, so it has been possible to teach the participants a lot of sewing techniques, to take good profit of it and it has opened them great opportunities to use their knowledge to find a job and consequently to earn some money.