Local Greenock business shows upcycling is in fashion, following Business Gateway support
A sustainable business whose offering includes hand-crafted products made from upcycled materials has launched following support and advice from Business Gateway.
Made in Greenock’s core mission is to reduce and eliminate the negative environmental impacts of waste by giving unwanted materials a new lease of life.
Products include Sri-Lankan inspired jewelled bangles made from Pringles tubs and spare saree fabric which are decorated with glass beads and appliqued to make the bangles elegant and soft. Scrap leather from the nearby Bridge of Weir factory is also used to make purses. The brand also offers an upcycling service in which customers can donate their unwanted jewellery.
Founder Teruko Tissera, who had never used a sewing machine before the pandemic, joined a virtual Fixing Fashion course during lockdown to keep busy. She learned the necessary techniques to transform scraps of leather and other materials that would otherwise be wasted into unique and sustainably designed products through bleaching, stencilling and visible mending.
After realising there was no other company offering this service in the local area and armed with new skills and a passion for upcycling, Teruko approached Business Gateway to turn her hobby into a fully-fledged business.
Teruko accessed the full suite of Business Gateway start-up services on offer, including 1:1 support from a dedicated business adviser who was able to help with the business plan, and provide advice about funding opportunities, which enabled her access to financial grant support from the local council. Teruko’s dedicated adviser also put her in touch with Skills Development Scotland, who provided marketing support to help make the business known in the local area.
Teruko also made use of the range of Business Gateway webinars on offer to help her upskill, including session on how to build a digital marketing plan, using Twitter and Hootsuite, as well as writing a business plan. These have been essential for growing the business from its humble beginnings.
Teruko Tissera, Made in Greenock founder, said: “I am passionate about sustainability and being kind to our planet and was excited about my new-found upcycling skills and really wanted to turn them into my own business but had no idea how to do so. I am so glad I approached Business Gateway for advice.
“They have been so attentive from the very beginning. From the very first day, my adviser made me comfortable and helped talk me through all aspects of launching a business. It’s because of the support I received through Business Gateway that I have been able to capitalise on this opportunity, through funding from the council.”
Barbara Mennie, Business Gateway adviser, said: “We should all be focusing on how we can be more sustainable, and Made in Greenock’s offering is really paving the way for others. Not only are the products uniquely beautiful, but they are also a brilliant solution to deal with any waste materials.
“Teruko’s enthusiasm for the business was clear from the start. As part of Business Gateway’s start-up services, we provided the practical support to help make her vision a reality. We’ll continue to work with Teruko in the months ahead and I look forward to seeing what products are to come.”