Find your own shade of green at ‘Unique Boutique’

Timmy White, recycled interiors designer, will be reupholstering at the Unique Boutique showcase at Victoria Square on June 2. Timmy is responsible for creating the eclectic funky look at new Belfast restaurant Hooligan Teaeatery in the Cathedral Quarter.

If the phrase ‘going green’ is enough to make you see red, then a ‘unique’ home event could transform the way you think about recycling.

Following on from its hugely successful Stitch and Style fashion events which helped hundreds of fashionistas rediscover wardrobe gems, Belfast City Council is now turning its attention to giving homes a ‘green’ makeover.

On Wednesday, June 2, a corner of Victoria Square shopping centre in Belfast will be transformed into a ‘Unique Boutique’ as part of the city’s annual Waste Week (June 1-5), giving visitors tips on how to refresh, restyle and rethink your home – without literally costing the earth.

Councillor Pat McCarthy, chairman of the council’s Health and Environmental Services Committee, said: “It’s no secret that the economy has an impact on social trends; rationing and material shortages during the Second World War led to shorter skirts and lower necklines as fashion got in step with the war effort.
“And now 60 years on, the current economic climate has been forcing people to tighten their belts, with the property market in particular taking a big hit. That old mantra of ‘make do and mend’ has never been more apt and it happens to be in keeping with the council’s ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ message.

“During Waste Week we encourage people to think about the amount of waste they produce, and what they’re sending to landfill. The aim of our ‘Unique Boutique’ event is to get people thinking about what they have around the home that, instead of dumping, can be transformed into something as good as new with a little bit of imagination – maybe it’s a lick of paint, or some simple DIY.

“Best of all, the event is free and we’re hoping lots of people will go away with fresh ideas on how they can add a little bit of ‘green’ to their home.”

Holistic interiors expert Nicola Jones will be speaking on how to style your home the eco way, avoiding sending furniture to landfill and giving tips on how to refurbish second-hand furniture.

There’ll also be a drop-in workshop where you can have a go at transforming old cardies into cushion covers and even knitting a bath mat out of old t-shirts under the experts’ eye.

Alyson McElroy-Jones from The Fashion Souk added: “The last few years has seen a huge rise in demand for all things vintage. People don’t necessarily want to furnish their home from the pages of a catalogue; they want to put their own stamp on their surroundings, as an extension of their own personal style and fashion.

“Also, with the property market still in recovery, many people are opting to spruce up their homes instead of moving house, so this event will be great for anyone who is decorating on a budget or for first time buyers who are looking for a bit of inspiration on how to update any family heirlooms.
“At ‘Unique Boutique’ we’ll be giving people the chance to see some examples of how easy it is to transform an old piece of furniture into something that you’ll love for many more years to come. It’s about setting your own trend – it could be something as simple as changing the frame on a mirror or painting, or making cushions from a pair of old curtains.”

You’ll also be able to put your feet up in one of the display ‘living rooms’, created with second-hand furniture from local charity shops, and there’ll be a chance to take part in an informal discussion about environmental issues and how they affect you.

Also attending will be Timmy White who is the interior designer behind the eclectic funky look of soon-to-open Hooligan Teaeatery in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter.

Throughout Waste Week (June 1-5) there are a number of events organised around the council’s ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ theme.

For more information on recycling or other events that are happening as part of Waste Week visit