Textiles with a Difference

A Community Led Project

Textiles with a Difference


TeX helps to create sustainable communities by recycling, reusing and re-purposing new and used textiles. 

We do this by running workshops and events that are of benefit to the community, by supporting local community groups and working with other agencies.

We also create jobs for local people by making Eco Products from recycled textiles, teaching new skills - and we use some of the profits to support our local communities, bringing people together with no barriers to inclusion.

We collect textiles and clothing from your home, office or place of business, diverting them from landfill and either reuse, help other agencies and we run Swishing events that often see 100+ attendees and over half a ton of textiles at a time swopped within the community.

As textiles is often no longer on the curriculum in many schools we find that many of the workshops we run are of interest to young people, whether that is to work on fashion items, to create gifts or just simply to learn how to sew and work with textiles.

We Blog about what we do and you can find these on our main website


Come and join in


TEX is a project within Cultivate Cornwall CIC that works with textiles and waste fabric to produce bespoke designer products, educational workshops and events that brings the community together. 

The most significant project aims and impacts are as follows;

  • · Enabling skill development - This project aims to enable skill sharing between younger and older generations, achieved through workshops where our designers and manufacturers will use practical and informal learning share their skills with others. These will be delivered at local festivals and from our maker space to help promote community engagement.
  • · Continue to enhance community engagement - The development of a social maker space to bring people together to be creative and have fun. This is strengthened by the fact that those involved in the project are largely ethnic minorities and this social space has helped improve community engagement with these groups. 
  • ·  Create jobs for underemployed - Through community listenings we identified a number of people, largely women who struggle to find skilled jobs after around the age of 50, often ending up underemployed or working in low paid jobs. Through the development of TEX we hope to provide a number of well paid jobs supporting the skills of many of these individuals, providing more engaging and fulfilling work.
  • · Repurposing waste and diverting it from landfill - The majority of materials used to produce our products come from textile and fabric waste. TEX we will be collecting this waste, repurposing and recycling it to produce our products, providing huge environmental benefit, helping promote eco-friendly products and the circular economy but also, providing us with a USP.
  • · Support local community projects - As a CIC profits are reinvested into the community, Any profit from TEX will be invested in funding for new community projects that enhance community cohesion through reducing barriers to inclusion for those living in poverty.

This year we have managed to divert over 4 tons of textiles from potential landfill. This has been through our workshops, or festival involvements, our work supporting other agencies / community groups and through our Swishing Events.

Help us Help Others

We all need a little help and we are no different


We can only do what we do with a little help from our friends and supporters.

Our needs are simple but without just a little help we can`t operate and will find it hard to do great things in our communities.

The best bit is we don't need your money!

What we do need is 

  • · Volunteers! We are but a small team with limited resources and very big hearts. We would love your help in our workshops or events. In return we can offer fun, training and we can cover most expenses.
  • · Good clean clothing and textiles - so if you’re having a clear out, give us a shout. We can collect if needed and we will use anything from duvets to dresses and everything in between.
  • · A sewing machine or over locker. We want more people to have the chance to work and more machines mean more opportunities.
  • · A space to sell our products - Retailers looking for great new products?  Shops, Funky Festivals or Markets? Let them know what we have to offer or how we can help them at their events.
  • · You! - We need you to tell people about what we do, how we do and how people can get involved- especially with donating clothes and recycled textiles.

If  you would like to be involved and  help Youth  Projects and Community Groups, then please contact us and  help us help  others.

Our Team

John Lakey


John is a change maker and really makes a difference in the community. He works with people by finding what they need and then makes things happen in his community,as a result they are better places to be. His entrepreneurial spirit gets put to great use as a director and creator of Tex with Benefits. His desire to make better places and spaces is the driving force behind this community led project.

Harry Deacon

Harry has youth on his side but comes to the team with years of  experience. His first international business when aged just 14 helped  him through school, college and more recently Falmouth University. His  desire is to help young people have more chances in life and with Tex  with Benefits he can make this happen. 

Moi Lakey

Moi made her career in design. At first this was within the clothing and  textile business where she could be found designing for Body Glove,  Foxx Clothing and Wacoal. After marrying John in 2002 and moving to Cornwall, she set up her own business working with hand made papers  where she made products for the Royal Weddings, various retail outlets  and was a regular feature at festivals.
Her passion is in recycling and breathing new life into old items. 

Anna Martin

Anna has a long history of sewing and creating beauty from fabric.

Her work history has seen her in industrial settings and making everything including wetsuits, tee shirts and hoodies.

More recently she has been involved in creating fantastic costumes for carnivals and youth groups.

contact us

Our Volunteers

A wonderful mix of fantastic people that come to join in for 100 + 1 reasons. Our open door policy means that we are her for all abilities and ages. 

The social side