About Us                                                   Updated June 2024

Campaign For Real Events is a voluntary organisation promoting understanding of energy and recycling.

For many years we were focussed on using human generated energy to help people understand the scale of energy used domestically. What we do has continually evolved and changed; it started off with bicycle powered stages in the 1990's and developed into many educational pedal power projects.
Like a lot of things our schools and public events projects came to a sudden halt at the start of 2020.
We've been starting off again on a different tack. We'd been running a solar powered sewing workshop at festivals since 2017 and that's now become our main activity.
I'd had a couple of old Singer sewing machines for a while; it occurred to me that they ran very smoothly and easily so might not need very much energy to run. Fitting a 12 Volt motor and controlling it with a custom made foot pedal made out of the trigger controller from an old battery drill seemed to work well.

After a launch at the 2017 Green Gathering with just the two straight stitch machines, we expanded the setup for 2018 with a new round sewing table and a collection of machines including a couple of 1970's Japanese zigzag and multi stitch ones. Just for interest I'd added in a 1930's classic Jones boat shuttle machine and we were amazed at the amount of interest and use that got.
The round table with the participants able to easily converse and swap advice and hints has become a main feature of the stall. The 2018 version worked so well we were asked to provide it for the Green Futures Field at Glastonbury in 2019. The Glastonbury stall also worked really well though we were very lucky with the weather, always a major risk on that site. At the end of that festival we were able to restock with plenty of materials including tent guy cord for making drawstring bags and tent fabric and zips from the damaged items left behind on the site.
Later that year we also did a very successful four day project at Green Gathering and received a number of requests for events in 2022 including the 50th Glastonbury.

We've now got a new main sewing table with a stronger metal frame and a wider range of solar powered and varied vintage handcrank machines up to 130 years old. The new setup worked very well at Green Gathering in 2022 and 2023. We're also looking at smaller setups for local events.

Booking Information

We're a voluntary association not a company and only need expenses including a contribution to our insurance to do an event. Our running expenses are minimal; a bit for threads and travel expenses but not much more. All textiles are recycled and very few of our machines cost more than £10 each at car boot sales; the rest came from freecycle or direct donation.
We have several good volunteer helpers from different parts of the country and Public Liability Insurance cover up to £5M.

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