CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hampshire Life today CLICK HERE

Diana Wood, owner of What the Blazers finds new use foor old school uniforms

PUBLISHED: 15:36 24 June 2014

Credit: Paul Close

Credit: Paul Close

Archant

With the South African ethos for recycling engrained in her from a young age, Diana Wood has found a new use for your old school uniforms

With a retail management course under her belt and experience working in PR, South African born Diana was well equipped when, after starting her family, she decided to set up on her own.

Taught to knit by her Granny at the age of five, she went on to further her skills at school when her class made blankets for the township residents.

Inspired by her home country’s recycling mentality she has since set up a charity, Knitting for Africa, and has always been keen to make the most out of what she already has. She explains: “I have always made things, usually from what’s already kicking about. In 2007, a couple of years after I started K4A, I was making up a blanket to go to Africa when the idea came to me to up-cycle discarded cashmere jumpers and cardigans into big, pashmina style shawls. This evolved into wrist warmers, hot water bottle covers and other items. Then three years ago we had our loft insulated and, while I was clearing it out, I came across a suitcase full of my husband’s school uniform. ‘What the blazes’ was my response and What the Blazers was born!”

After her husband’s old school uniforms had been transformed in to cushions, Diana began looking for other materials to develop her business. As well as clients bringing in their old clothing to be up-cycled, schools, pony clubs, and the military all provide her with remnants and off cuts to be given a new lease of life.

What the Blazers appeals to anyone and everyone, from mothers asking her to make mementos from baby clothes, to men wanting a permanent home for all their old ties. Selling through county shows and horse trials, Diana also has a website www.whattheblazers.com where you can purchase her products or order something bespoke. Talking about where she sees her business going Diana says: “I would like to be supplying leaver’s cushions for schools as an alternative to hoodies, or making mementos for military regiments. I also want to continue to work on collaborations in Africa and am looking in to supplying Anthropologie with my cashmere shawls.

“I love that each job is different – each product is as individual as the person it’s made for. Working for myself is very flexible and immensely satisfying.”

Length of time in business: 7 years

Number of employees: Me and four outworkers

Ethos: To re-use pre-loved textiles in a fun, original and practical way; to combat the mountain of waste that is produced by us all every year. Every little helps!

Location: Lymington

Contact: diana@whattheblazers.com, 07855 807882

More from Out & About

Blow away the Christmas cobwebs on a walk with fine views and a striking memorial

Read more
Yesterday, 14:07

Treat yourself to lunch and tea with a visit to one of these fantastic Hampshire tea rooms.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:06

Is there anything more refreshing than a stroll on a crisp winter’s day? We don’t think so! Here are a few of our favourite rambles across the county to enjoy this season

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Hampshire this month

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

With 100 years since the last guns were fired during World War One, we remember the sacrifices Hampshire made

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

With the New Forest, South Downs and a picturesque coastline, Hampshire is an amazing place for a walk. We round up a few of our favourites

Read more
Friday, November 30, 2018

There is so much to see and do in Hampshire over the festive season, from carol services to markets and of course amazing food and drink and our day-by-day guide brings you the pick of the best

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

If you’re planning to add a new extension, remodel the internal layout or create a brilliant new kitchen overlooking a landscaped garden, a visit to the South East Homebuilding & Renovating Show (19-20 January 2019) at Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre is a must

Read more
Monday, November 26, 2018

Huge Christmas markets, frosty countryside and cosy pubs; winter in Hampshire is second to none…

Read more
Monday, November 26, 2018

When it comes to celebrating the festive season, Winchester is alive with the sound of music. From Cathedral choirs to community singers and from family musicals to classical concerts, there’s something for everyone

Read more
Friday, November 23, 2018

Get in the festive spirit with our selection of the Hampshire's top dining experiences this Christmas…

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

This thriving community in North Hampshire is a desirable location for residents and visitors alike

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Running a successful regional theatre means thinking beyond the bricks and mortar to reach out to the community. We ask four of Hampshire’s leading impresarios, how do they ensure that the show goes on?

Read more
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Savour spectacular views of the Needles and Alum Bay and discover history tales on this invigorating walk on the Isle of Wight

Read more
 
A+ South & South West

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory



Property Search