Two Turtle Doves

Two Turtle Doves and a Rose, recycled Cashmere brooches

I know it’s a little early to start properly thinking about Christmas but there is now less than 6 months to go! This summer of lock down may be the perfect time to get ahead of the game and to start some fantastic home made gifts to have ready for when they are needed. However far in advance I try to get organised, there never seems to be enough time as the end of the year countdown begins.

Little Eco Gifts blog for me has been a journey of discovering ways to cut down on single use plastics, be more eco-conscious and find ways to encourage others to do the same. In doing so, to not compromise on quality and even allow for a touch of luxury. Turtle Doves is a really inspiring company that does this. They recycle old cashmere jumpers that are no longer fit for purpose. For example, jumpers that have shrunk in the wash or have holes in them that cannot be repaired. They are washed and then repurposed into beautiful cashmere gloves, shawls and the scraps are even used to make little tiny baby booties, how cute! I think this is fantastic and a wonderful way to re-use resources. To be able to gift a luxury in this way feels like the right thing to do for so many reasons.

Cashmere is a wool fiber that comes from certain types of goats like pashmina or cashmere goats that are native to places like Tibet in China or Mongolia. It is beautifully soft yet very warm and lightweight too. In fact it can be up to 3 times warmer than the equivalent sheep wool and without the scratchiness and itchy wool feel. It is much more expensive than sheep’s wool as the cashmere comes from the undercoat of the goat and has to be carefully separated out. This is time consuming and it can take 2 goats to make enough fiber for 1 jumper. This makes the case even more for recycling and reusing the materials.

I love that Turtles Doves is also looking for ways to reduce their waste too even after the recycling process. Some of the scraps of cashmere left over from making gloves or shawls have been put together in little bundles to make these brooches. They cost £16 for enough scraps of cashmere to make 3, with the clasps and helpful instruction booklet that comes with it.

Enough Cashmere for 3 brooches with instructions too!

I used the neutral fabric for the leaves and the blues for the blooms. They don’t have to be in the usual green colours as long as there is a contrast, using an embroidery thread for the leaf veins helps to make them stand out, I used both brown and green stitching. I hand-stitched mine but they can also be machined too to make them really neat. The blooms can be any bright colours too. The red fabric I made into a little rose bud. I added the buttons that were in the scraps of material and they work well altogether.

Using green thread makes the leaves stand out.

I’ve really enjoyed making them with the pattern included to make a presentation box. I used some recycled brown card for the box but I loved their suggestion to re-use the card mailing box. I sewed the tabs together on mine so that they did not use any glue or tape. I also added the turtle dove hand-made label.

These were a great success! I gave one to my Mum for her birthday and she liked it so much that she gave one to her friend too for a birthday gift. These are good value for money for a touch of recycled luxury.

Thank you to my Dad for this post for taking the photos of the finished brooches.

Thank you to my Dad for this post for proving some excellent photos of the finished brooches.

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