New life for North London's old clothes 20 October 2017
Every year the UK sends a staggering £140 million worth of used clothes, or around 350,000 tonnes, to landfill. These are all clothes that could be worn again, upcycled into something new or recycled.

We want to end this unnecessary waste - and give old (or sometimes not so old) clothes a new lease of life

Working with the North London Waste Authority (NLWA), as part of their Wise Up To Waste campaign, we ran seven Swish and Style events in Spring 2017 across the boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest.

These public events included a swish (or organised swap) of clothing, accessories and shoes, as well as various upcycling workshops. A local seamstress was on hand to perform repairs, and teach people how to mend or enhance their clothes to give them a new lease of life.

The events were held in popular community spaces and attracted over 350 residents. In total a whopping 2,303 items of unwanted clothes were donated, with 1,664 items taken away by new owners, to be re-worn and re-loved. All remaining items were donated to the Salvation Army to sell in their shops or be recycled.

The events were thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. One Hackney resident told us “This is one of the best days I've spent! Great vibes, super friendly people and fun!!” 

As well as being fun, the events helped change people's behaviour and taught new life-long skills - 98% said they were now more interested in the reuse, repair and upcycling of clothes after coming along.

A Barnet resident bought along his broken trousers and learnt how to mend them with the help of the seamstress. “I’ve never sewn anything before. I hate shopping. I would much rather just fix my clothes. And now I know how to.

There are lots of photos from the days in our facebook gallery. And the events were such a success, we are delighted to announce that NLWA have asked us to run them again next year. If you are involved in a community group in the area, would you be interested in working with us to host one of the events? For more information, please contact Jen

We'll be back next January, February and March, across the seven boroughs. We are currently working out the details now so watch this space. And if you are a North Londoner we look forward to seeing you there and helping to give your wardrobe a whole new lease of life.