Lose your ponytail for a great cause


Is it time to cut off the ponytail? If you’re keen to lose the locks, and want to do it for a great cause, Cheveux by Lou is looking for you to be a demonstration model at the  Fair Share Festival at Hamilton Public School on Saturday.

If you’ve had long hair for a long time, it can be a difficult decision to lose 10cm to 15cm or more of tresses, but knowing that the ponytail you donate will be incorporated into a wig for a sick child might make the decision easier.

Lou opened her salon Cheveux by Lou in Islington in February this year, and runs her business to be as ethical and environmentally responsible as possible.

Unlike typical salons, which still use toxic dyes, harsh chemicals and dispose of these down the sink, Cheveux by Lou is proud of its green credentials. Cheveux by Lou uses  the green brand Jeval Infusions. It is vegan, contains no parabens or sulphates and is not tested on animals. 

“I wanted to create a space for my clients that is personal and luxurious, and still do something good for their hair and the environment,” said Lou  

So if you’re keen to be Lou’s model for the day, and lose the pony for a new, green look, get in touch with Cheveux by Lou now on 4962 4747 or via the Facebook page  Cheveux by Lou  And check out the festival’s full program of workshops, panel discussions, expert talks and demonstrations here.

Imagination on parade at Upcycled fashion runway


Be inspired to give your old clothes new life at the Fair Share Festival’s Upcycled Fashion Parade at Hamilton Public School on Sunday November 13 from 2pm.

Hosted by fashion activist Jane Milburn, author of the Slow Clothing Manifesto, the fashion parade will showcase clothes and accessories that have been reinvented, reconstructed or reimagined.

Instead of recycling or throwing away clothes that no longer fit, or are minorly damaged, upcycling allows them to be salvaged and return as new, old favourites.

Garments by Jane Milburn and local upcycler Cathy Stuart will feature in the parade and participants in the festival’s upcycling workshops and home fashionistas are encouraged to include their creations in the parade.

If you don’t have any upcycled clothes, celebrate sustainability by wearing your old favourite clothes to the festival –  hand-me-downs, op-shop bought, recycled, handmade or just something you’ve had and loved for ages. Take a selfie on the day and share using #oldfavourite  or #upcycled.

And don’t forget the clothing and book swap, and the sewing lounge and upcycling cafe at the festival on Saturday, and the screening of the documentary exposing the fast fashion industry “The True Cost” on Thursday November 10.

DIY at the sewing lounge & upcycle cafe


Nearly everyone has a piece or two of clothing that needs a simple repair.  Rescue them from the back of the cupboard and bring them to the Fair Share Festival at Hamilton Public School on Saturday November 12 and learn to repair them, or brighten them up, yourself at the Sewing Lounge & Upcycle Cafe.

Simple projects such as hemming, replacing buttons and patching holes are simple when you have guidance and a sewing machine set up for you. Children are welcome to come and have a play on the machines as well, with simple sewing projects from scrap fabrics.

If you’re inspired for more sewing, book in for the beginner or intermediate  textile upcycling workshops led by slow-fashion activist Jane Milburn, and there’s a clothing and book swap on Saturday afternoon as well, so you can update your wardrobe with a few new pieces without out-laying a cent.

The screening of The True Cost on Thursday evening will help explain why it’s so important that we rethink our approach to clothing.

On Sunday, November 13, return for the upcycled fashion parade for more inspiration on how to remake, reimagine and rediscover your own clothes into entire new pieces.  

Lemonade & creativity at Hamilton Public School

Photo courtesy of See Vanessa Craft http://seevanessacraft.com/2013/06/diy-tutorial-crate-lemonade-stand-for-kids/

Have you ever had real lemonade, prepared and sold by children, and made from lemons grown in the backyard? This classic symbol of youthful enterprise comes to life at the Fair Share Festival on Saturday November 12 at Hamilton Public School.  

Hamilton Public has hosted the Fair Share Festival since its inception, and is a school that prides itself on its creativity, community involvement and sustainability practices, making it the perfect partner for the festival.

Students from kindergarten to Year 6 have been busy preparing for the big community event, which is all about sustainability, addressing waste and over-consumption.

Besides collecting lemons from within their neighbourhood, students have been making tokens recycled from magazine pages for the clothes and book swap shop, and preparing to build a giant collage.

As the writing on the big yellow chair at the school gate says “Creative things happen here”, including the Fair Share Festival on Saturday November 12 and  Sunday November 13.

How to eat without consuming the planet


Are you eating the planet? The food on your plate might not be as good for the environment as it is for you. Find out how you can eat more sustainably at the Fair Share Festival workshop “Eating without consuming the planet” by Kate Beveridge and Mark Brown, of Purple Pear Farm.

Kate and Mark can teach you how to save money and produce tasty meals through obtaining locally produced, seasonal fresh food and cooking from scratch. They’ll explain how packaging, processing, and travelling vast distances is part of our food’s hidden environmental cost. 

You’ll learn about the benefits of a simple menu plan for using food in season now, available locally,  as well as hints and tips on growing your own food and how to deal with garden pests, composting,  and buying from co-ops, farmers markets and some home delivery options.  

Join this free workshop at the Fair Share Festival, at 1pm on Saturday November 12 at Hamilton Public School.  

And speaking of food, there will be lots of delicious things to eat and drink at the festival. Visitors can bring their own plates if they wish, but we’ll have a washing up station and ordinary plates and cutlery rather than single use plastic throw-aways. Read more about that here.


Let’s do something about food waste


Food rescue service Oz Harvest will be at the panel discussion on food waste at the Fair Share Festival, Hamilton Public School at 10.03am on November 12, 2016.

As a society we waste so much good food. Yet many go hungry. Learn what people in the Hunter are doing about food waste at the Fair Share Festival panel discussion. Have your say, and  find out what you can do.
The food waste panel features food rescue service Oz Harvest, local business The Fresh Ingredient, as well as a dumpster diver Simon and recipients of donated food, CatholicCare.
In Australia, every year we discard $8 billion to $10 billion of food, and waste four million tonnes of food, which ends up in landfill. Australians throw out one out of every five shopping bags, which equates to every Australian household throwing out $1,036 worth of groceries each year.
And still people in our community go hungry every day. The system isn’t working well.
Come listen to The Fresh Ingredient’s Mary O’Connor, Oz Harvest’s  Monique Maguire, dumpster diver Simon Outhred, CatholicCare’s Gary Christensen, and moderator Michael Osborne. Then have your say. Bring your ideas about what else can be done, or how you think things could change. Participants are encouraged to put forward a resolution for action to be taken beyond the festival.
The food waste panel starts at 10.30am at Fair Share Festival, Hamilton Public School, on Saturday November 12.
Find out more about the festival at http://transitionnewcastle.org.au/fair-share-festival-2016/

Kids get creative

Kids can have fun while learning about sustainability at Feedback Organic Recovery’s workshop.

Kids love gardening. It’s probably something to do with all that dirt. Feedback Organic Recovery is running free kids’ creative workshops at the Fair Share Festival at Hamilton Public School on November 12 and 13, to inspire budding gardeners and urban farmers.

At this workshop, suitable for children over the age of 5, (or under 5 with parental participation), kids will learn to create a compostable planter pot from newspaper, and take home a seedling in it to nurture. The pots can be planted straight into the ground at home.

Seedlings at the festival may include native ginger, native grasses and herbs.

Feedback Organic Recovery was founded on the philosophy that there is no such thing as waste. Feedback conducts children’s workshops to show young people how easy it is to be more sustainable in everyday living through engaging, interactive and educational experiences. Read more about David Syver from Feedback Organic Recovery.

Come share the joy of gardening at the festival – there’s also workshops on composting, building garden planters from wooden pallets, and a panel discussion on urban farming. See the full program here for details and how to book.

Calling all luthiers!

Learn to make a guitar from a cigar or biscuit tin at the Fair Share Festival.
Learn to make a guitar from a cigar or biscuit tin at the Fair Share Festival.

Have you ever wanted to make your own guitar? Musicians, crafty types and would-be luthiers will love the Fair Share Festival’s guitar-making workshop on Saturday November 12 at Hamilton Public School.

Tap into the blues roots of the homemade instrument and join the cigar box guitar revolution.   You’ll be amazed at the quality sound you can get from one of these guitars. Book in now to Garry Petrisic’s demonstration workshop to learn how to make a cigar box or biscuit tin guitar. The workshop is free but you’ll have to register online to attend.

Garry will show you everything you need to know to make your own guitar at home. The three instruments made at the workshop will be given to lucky individuals drawn from a hat.

And be sure to stay on for the community jam session to close the festival on Saturday from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. All instruments, all voices, all talents welcome. No need to register, just come along and join in for a fun communal music-making event.    

Clothes, book swap at the Fair Share Festival


Tired of what’s in your wardrobe? Read everything in the bookshelf? Don’t go shopping for new things, come to the Fair Share Festival’s book and clothing swap on Saturday November 12 at Hamilton Public School.

The festival is all about sharing – so we’re asking visitors to bring along up to 10 items of clean good quality second hand clothes or books to exchange. The swap desk will be accepting items from 9.30am.

You’ll be given tokens that can be used at the swap shop, which is open between 2pm and 5pm, and given back your bags so you have something to put your new items in.

And from 3.30pm, the swap shop opens up to those who might like to purchase something but didn’t bring along any swap items.

If you have clothes that have interesting features but might not be suitable for the clothing swap, bring them along and learn how to upcycle them at the beginner or intermediate  textile upcycling workshop, or at the sewing lounge. Bookings essential.  

You could end up with a whole new wardrobe, or bookshelf.

All awash at the Fair Share Festival

Doing your own dishes is part of what makes the Fair Share Festival a bit different.

When you come to the Fair Share Festival at Hamilton Public School on November 12 and 13, you may notice something missing. There aren’t going to be a lot of rubbish bins, and that’s a deliberate choice.

As part of the festival’s theme of addressing waste and over-consumption, we’re hoping to show that you can still have a big community event without generating a lot of rubbish.  If you bring your own food, we ask that you take home its packaging. There will be plenty of good stuff to eat and drink on sale at the festival but they won’t be sold with single-use plastic plates and cups or cutlery.  

You’re welcome to bring your own cup or plates, but you don’t have to. The Samaritans have kindly lent crockery and cups for the day, and we’re asking visitors to wash up after themselves at the dish-washing stations.

And unlike doing the dishes at home, it’s fun to wash up in the open air with people you’ve only just met. You might even convince the kids to do it for you.