A Yeadon recycler, who spent three months turning hundreds of crispy packets into an eco-friendly “package jacket,” has qualified for the semi-finals of Eventbrite’s Hobby Hero contest.
Bernadette Shackleton, 52, is one of 10 semi-finalists in the national competition which saw hundreds of entries.
Eventbrite’s Hobby Hero contest was launched in May to find Britain’s greatest hobbyist and help them share their hobby with others in a bid to reconnect the nation.
Bernadette, childminder and mother of a 19-year-old son, Ed, loves recycling waste and finds beauty in the smallest details. After starting to collect used packets of crisps to recycle them, she started her ambitious upcycling project during confinement with her friend Heidi. After three months, countless hours, and hundreds and hundreds of crispy packages, Bernadette’s “package jacket” could now see her crowned the winner of Eventbrite’s Hobby Hero.
If Bernadette is successful in the competition, she will receive a prize of £5,000 – £2,500 cash and £2,500 support from the experts at Eventbrite to help her share her passion with others.
Bernadette said: “I like to give new life to something that has been thrown away. When I go to the landfill, it breaks my heart that so many valuable things have been thrown away. A crisp packet takes seven years to degrade, so I’m glad we found a new use for them.
“My pack jacket started out as a silly hobby to keep me busy during lockdown. I didn’t expect it to be this amazing or for me to be in the semi-finals of this competition. Even my son says it looks amazing, which is really high praise! »
Bernadette had to wash and dry hundreds of crisp packets, cut them into small pieces and layer and glue them onto a thin jacket. The details and craftsmanship are so fine that people can’t tell what material the jacket is made of.
Bernadette added: “A fashion designer friend of mine is hoping to help us bring the jacket to London Fashion Week. It would be amazing to point that out. It really looks striking.
“For Heidi and me, it has been a labor of love. We would put on the music, clear the table and spend hours on our intricate design. It was really therapeutic and enjoyable. I can’t wait to start our next design.
Sebastian Boppert of Eventbrite says, “The entries we received ranged from the traditional to the weird and wonderful. We’ve received a lot of artwork, but few as original and creative as Bernadette’s Crispy Package Art. You can tell from the photos how much dedication it took. We also love that his hobby is an enduring hobby. I wish her all the best as one of our semi-finalists.
“Our latest Hobby Hero winner will be someone with enthusiasm and dedication, who wants to share it with others – and maybe even make some money with it. A strong entry like Bernadette’s certainly does the trick .