Project 33 - 4KT Elephants

4KT Elephants

An Environment Envoy commission as part of Te Ao Tūroa - Dunedin’s Environment Strategy Facebook page

Stitch Kitchen were 2019’s recipients of Dunedin City Council’s Te Ao Tūroa Environment Envoy Commission, launching a new community project: 4KT Elephants, to transform some of the city’s textile and clothing scraps into 4,000 cute soft toy elephants. Each elephant represents a tonne of textiles received by our local landfill in the last year, which contributes significantly to our city's CO2 emissions, as well as the environmental hazards associated with waste collection.

4KT Elephants workshops were open on Queen's Birthday weekend, 31st May, running Friday to Monday, and the following two weekends from Friday to Sunday, from 11am till 4pm each day. Experienced sewers were on hand to help, so no prior experience was needed for those who wanted to make an elephant.

Makers were able to keep their individually-numbered elephant, or donate them to local children’s charities Tedz4Kidz. Some elephants were also available to buy, for those who would like to adopt these custom upcycled creations.

The pop-up to launch this ongoing community project was in the heart of Dunedin's main retail area, at 343 George Street. As well as practical sewing facilities, the bright and colourful space featured information and tips about how to reduce textile waste through everyday choices, from buying only what is needed, to caring for and repairing clothes, and responsible donating to second-hand shops.

The project was picked up by groups and individuals from Wellington to Wanaka.

Individuals, plus groups from organisations and schools interested in this project are encouraged to book in with Stitch Kitchen and create their own mini herd of elephants.

This event was made possible through funding from Dunedin City Council, as part of 2019 Te Au Tūroa Environment Strategy.

For inquiries about the ongoing 4KT project, please email info@stitchkitchen.nz

Read more about the origins of the project here and here.

Kate Schrader