Students in Coventry are using a lunch time staple to help the homeless this winter
February 7, 2022

Students in Coventry are using a lunch time staple to help the homeless this winter

Please note: This article was published on February 7, 2022 and may contain information that is no longer current or up to date.
Fashion student displaying sleeping bag made from crisp packets

Students in Coventry are using a lunch time staple to help the homeless this winter – by crafting essential cold weather equipment with a material that can’t go in the recycling bin.

Fashion students at Coventry College are using crisp packets to create insulated sleeping bags for people who are homeless during the winter months.

All 35 Level 3 fashion students are taking part in the initiative, which aims to create as many sleeping bags as possible over the next 12 months while cutting down on landfill waste, after choosing the task as their annual community project.

The metallised plastic film used in crisp packets is not widely recyclable, but has insulating properties which reduce the loss of heat.

The packets are cut and cleaned before being joined together to create a foil layer, which is then lined with a plastic sheet to make it waterproof.

In addition to the sleeping bags students are also creating patchwork blankets made from left over fabrics from previous projects. This is a really great initiative to help recycle fabrics within the department and is a great addition to the sleeping bags that works well for sheltered people to keep them warm in the winter months.

Emma Townsend and Kayleigh Parkes, fashion lecturers at Coventry College are leading the project. They said: “The initiative forms part of our student’s directed study, where we ask them to undertake an assignment that helps the community, and it’s been great to see the enthusiasm they have shown so far.

“We’ve already received plenty of crisp packets from staff and students to help us make the sleeping bags, but are still accepting donations until the end of the academic year if people want to get involved.”

Gemma Knott, Vice Principal for Business Growth, Engagement and Partnerships at Coventry College, said: “It’s fantastic to see our students making this project their own and being hands on with a worthy initiative.

“They are using their skills to have a direct impact on homelessness in the region, and we are fully behind that. We’ll look to use our connections in the local area to ensure these sleeping bags find the people who need them.”