(Re)Make, Don’t Buy – The Green Ethos Behind Maker Faire Brighton

Surprising as it may sound the upcoming Brighton Mini Maker Faire is very much a Green event, and we’re delighted to have so many participants helping us to get a real focus on ecological issues.  It may sound a bizarre thing to say about an event featuring everything from giant Etch-a-Sketches to gingerbread teapots and ghetto blasters , but behind all of this, we have a solid green agenda.

In fact the Maker idea wherever you find it, from Vancouver to Cairo, online and in Make magazine, is at heart an environmentally aware and active movement. If you make, you don’t buy, and if it breaks, you fix. You don’t buy another. Seems simple, but this hands-on ethos has far reaching impact.

Brighton is a city known for its eco-friendly mindset and progressive attitude towards recycling and conservation. We have brilliant set-ups like The Wood Recycling Centre, Magpie Cooperative and the council’s own recycling scheme. Even the profusion of vintage clothes shops and flea markets is testament to the city’s willingness to embrace all things recycled. So it seems only fitting that we should be the first community in the South to host a Maker Faire, as not only a mind-boggling day of super inventions and surprising craft creations, but a celebration of our green credentials.

When you come to Brighton Mini Maker Faire many of the most amazing exhibitors will be showing and sharing items created from materials that would normally have been disposed of and added to the ever growing and unsustainable mountain of waste our society creates.  Instead of overloading landfill though, they can now delight, excite and entertain!

Circus Kintica's Josephine

Circus Kinetica's Josephine

Take the creations of Circus Kinetica for example – this fabulous band of Brighton based creative crafts people and artists has for years now been beavering away sculpting the most beautiful contraptions from random junk and thrown away bits and pieces.  From their workshop in the base of Embassy Court on Brighton seafront they produce everything from delicate items of jewellery to enormous adventure sculpture spaces (called Josephine).

Garden by Canvas for Mosiac

Garden by Canvas for Mosiac

For craft and design recycling that you can learn at our show, come and see the amazing works created by Canvas for Mosaic.  Not only will Christine be showing her beautiful creations made from recycled bathroom and kitchen tiles, but she’ll also be sharing her skills and letting visitors try for themselves.  This creative skill sharing is a core part of how we go from being consumers to creators, and is an essential part of the Maker ethos.

Another crafty recycler is Emily Wright, aka Cuttlefishlove, who will be teaching visitors how to make these fascinating Japanese style Kanzashi flower brooches and clips, all made out of paper and scrap materials.

And if you’re after a more practical application of the ecological mindset, look no further than Cranks, the Brighton bike repair co-op who will be running classes and activities at the Brighton Maker Faire.  What could possibly be greener than using shared skills and tools to keep your low impact ecological transport on the road?

Love Your Bike- the Cranks workshop

Love Your Bike- the Cranks workshop

The list goes on, with almost every maker utilising something recycled or re-made into their creations, and all of them advocating the benefits of making rather than buying.

So come and join us on the 3rd of September at the Brighton Dome Foyer and Bar for a celebration of what creativity and skills can do to help us all make a difference.

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