Sustainable and innovative: new life for old fabrics

Care for the integrity of the Creation, that also means respectful use of our resources. During this Laudato sí action week 2022, the sisters of the Middle-European Province of the CJ could realise a special project  that is close to their hearts: Several cubic metres of fabrics from different houses within the Province were handed over to the company “manomama”, which will use them to sew clothes, among other things.

“I met Sina Trinkwalder from manomama at the 2nd Catholic Poverty Conference in early December 2021,” Sr Helena Erler CJ says. She was enthusiastic about the commitment, patience and esteem with which this innovative company brings people into “wages and bread” who otherwise have no chance in life and on the labour market. When she then heard that manomama not only consistently processes ecological materials, but also remnants of fabrics so that they do not have to be disposed of, the idea was born: This is where our fabrics are well kept and invested!

In the past, many houses of the Congregatio Jesu had their own “tailor shops”. Whether sisters’ dresses, veils, aprons for the kitchen or garden, school uniforms for the boarders or simply bed linen or tea towels – everything was sewn by the sisters themselves. They were correspondingly well equipped. In the meantime, many of the houses have been closed down and the seamstresses have reached retirement age. The treasures of fabrics, ribbons, yarns, buttons, etc. were taken to other, still existing houses and a considerable amount accumulated there over time.

“I contacted Mrs Trinkwalder and sent her a few fabric samples with the question of whether they could still produce something from them,” Sr Helena recounts. The answer from the company in Augsburg came quickly: “We are thrilled and already have many ideas.”

As a result, all the fabrics that the Congregatio Jesu could no longer use or that are no longer needed were collected from several houses. Three Euro pallets full of high-quality clothing fabrics as well as cotton and linen fabrics were collected and handed over to the innovative social enterprise and will get a new life in the future.

“Now we sisters are of course very excited to see what manomama’s seamstresses and seamstresses will make from them,” Sister Helena says happily. She already has the next project in mind: a flea market for sewing, handicraft and handicraft utensils – because these treasures also want to be used instead of ending up in the rubbish at the next house clearance.

If you want to know more about manomama, you can find out here.

News from translated by Esther Finis