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5 ways to save clothes from landfill in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 19:00 31 January 2020

An estimated 300,000 tonnes of unworn clothes end up in landfill each year. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

An estimated 300,000 tonnes of unworn clothes end up in landfill each year. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Each year an estimated 300,000 tonnes of used clothing gets thrown in the bin in the UK. As Love Your Clothes launches its Donation Generation campaign here are some ideas for how you can do your bit locally.

Why not try selling your unworn clothes at a pre-loved sale? Picture: Getty Images/iStockphotoWhy not try selling your unworn clothes at a pre-loved sale? Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

1. Get swishing

Why not organise a swishing party with your friends? Have a rummage through your wardrobe, pick out the pieces you never wear, meet up and get swapping. Not only is it fun and sociable, but it's a free way to get your fashion fix. Alternatively, fashion activism group We Wear The Trousers is joining forces with Oxfam Magdalen Street in Norwich for a fundraising clothes swap as part of the Norfolk Makers Festival Fringe on Sunday February 9 from 5-7pm. Take along a bag of clothes, pay the £5 admission charge, which goes directly to Oxfam, along with any garment that hasn't found a new home by the end of the evening. See norfolkmakersfestival.co.uk/fringe for information.

And Sarah Wynn, AKA Mumma and More, is organising a Re:New swishing event at Rowan House, Hethersett, on March 7. Take along up to eight items of clothing, which you swap for tickets, then browse and swap your tickets for a new item. Any items left over will be donated to Star Throwers charity shops. See Mumma&More on Facebook for booking details.

2. Old fashioned jumble

There's nothing like having a rummage through a jumble sale and finding a bargain. If you're having a Marie Kondo-style clear out, book a pitch at Fierce Babe's next Jumble Up! event at Norwich Arts Centre on March 21 (11am-3pm) and take along all those items that no longer spark joy. It's not just clothes - music, books and bric-a-brac are welcome too. Pitches cost £15 (tables not included). Email sara@fiercebabenorwich.com to book a slot. Admission for buyers is free.

3. Re:Boot it

Hosted by We Got This (Sometimes!), Fashion Re:Boot is one of the most stylish nights out in the city and the perfect place to declutter your wardrobe. It's the brainchild of fashion editor Erica Davies and magazine editor Ciara Elliott, who wanted to create a fun fashion event that would get local communities involved and they are now held all over the country. Packed with a mixture of pre-loved and boutique fashion and accessories, vendors include fashion bloggers, editors, boutique owners and stylists. To take part all you need is a wardrobe full of stand-out pieces and your own rail to hang them on.

Fashion Re:Boot will return to Norwich in 2020 - keep an eye on wegotthisco.com and register on their mailing list for details.

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4. Earn and learn

Ego Buy and Sell Fashion Boutique at intu Chapelfield in Norwich is a secondhand shop with a difference. If you have designer and high end of the high street items that you don't wear, Ego will sell them for you. You keep 52% of the sale price and the remainder is used to train people to become great retailers. Ego is a training store for City College Norwich students, allowing them to practice the buying, customer service, selling and merchandising skills that are essential for a career in retail. A percentage of all profits are donated to charity and reinvested in students' learning. It's a great place to shop too - they've recently had Mulberry bags, Jimmy Choo trainers and Chanel in store. See facebook.com/egoNorwich for more.

5. Make Do and Mend

If you have items that you love but don't wear because of wear and tear, don't throw them out - there could be a quick fix if you pop along to one of the workshops running as part of Norfolk Makers Festival at The Forum.

We Wear The Trousers is holding a Repair Cafe on Saturday February 8 from 10am-4pm, where you can learn upcycling techniques such as darning holes, patching and replacing buttons. And Pippa and Emma from Norwich Sewcials, a local community of sewing and crafting enthusiasts, will be holding a Sewing Surgery on February 18 and 19 from 10am-4pm. Holes, tears and rips are no match for their sewing abilities - take your garments along and learn how to repair and re-wear. And find out more about them at norwichsewcials.com

Of course charity shops welcome donations of good quality clothing that they can sell. Many also accept textiles that aren't suitable for sale but could be sold on for recycling - check with your local shop and make sure that when you take them in the bag is clearly labelled 'for rags'.

Some local councils, including Norwich City Council, also offer a kerbside textile recycling service - check with yours for details.

And some high street stores, such as Marks and Spencer and TK Maxx, have charity collection points in store.

To find out more about the Donation Generation campaign visit loveyourclothes.org.uk and follow the #DonationGeneration hashtag on social media.

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