Published on 16/05/2023
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Aston University shows it’s ‘sew’ easy to upcycle old banners


• University staff used needle skills to transform old pull-up signs

• Coated fabric used to sew a selection of gifts such as toys and cushions

• Items will go on sale to raise money for charity.

Aston University employees have found an innovative way to recycle old marketing banners by turning them into toys and cushions.

When out-of-date pull-up signs were due to be replaced this year a crafty member of staff spotted an opportunity to save them from landfill and raise money for local good causes.

Using their sewing skills, they transformed around 30 banners made of coated fabric into a selection of gifts such as toys, cushions and tablet-holders.

Jane Dunn who works in the University’s international directorate initially thought of the idea and joined forces with colleague Julie Goodwin to put their needle skills to good use.

The finished products are to be sold at a charity craft fair held on the University campus on 16 May.

Vitor Furlong, environment and sustainability manager at Aston University, said: "This is a great example of how our staff make a contribution to the University’s commitment to reducing waste generation.

“We aim to make our campus one of the greenest, with the least environmental impact as possible.

“I am unaware of any other recycling activity like this, that upcycles its banners in such a way which is both environmentally conscious and supports the local community."

In March the University was recognised by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society because the biodiversity of its campus encourages the endangered prickly mammals to thrive on its site.

Notes to editors

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a university since 1966, Aston University is a long-established university led by its three main beneficiary groups – students, business and the professions, and the West Midlands region and wider society. Located in Birmingham at the heart of a vibrant city, the campus houses all the University’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Aleks Subic is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

In 2022 Aston University was ranked in the top 25 of the Guardian University Guide, based on measures including entry standards, student satisfaction, research quality and graduate prospects. The Aston Business School MBA programme was ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Nicola Jones, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44) 7825 342091 or email:

Sue Smith,
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Nicola Jones,
Press and Communications Manager


Helen Tunnicliffe,
Press and Communications Manager


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