Old clothes get back their glamour at ReFashion vintage event in Norwich

Models ready and waiting for the catwalk show in their Big C wedding dresses at the ReFashion event

Models ready and waiting for the catwalk show in their Big C wedding dresses at the ReFashion event at St Andrews Hall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

One million tonnes of cloth is thrown away every year.

Julie Porter of Bags 2 Love with her designer waterproof hats made from old umbrella material, at th

Julie Porter of Bags 2 Love with her designer waterproof hats made from old umbrella material, at the ReFashion event at St Andrews Hall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

But with a little ingenuity, a needle and some thread, clothes can be given a new lease of life and help save the planet.

That was the message at ReFashion Norwich at St Andrews Hall last night, where people picked up some tips on how to reuse their old clothes.

Charities are using inventive new ways to keep clothes in circulation, including partnerships with prisons to design secure handbags.

Bert Bremner, cabinet member for environmental strategy at Norwich City Council, said: 'One of the problems with waste in our bins is stuff coming through which could be recycled, if only just as material, let alone being reworn or reused.

'Some of this stuff is really classy and you can get good quality second-hand items.'

Tracey Le Gallez, head of volunteering at Sue Ryder, added: 'If you recycle to a charity shop you are impacting how much goes to landfill. 'Without the support from money coming in from our charity shops we would not be able to deliver care, which can be incredibly expensive.'

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Customers and staff from Sue Ryder, Break and The Big C were modelling clothes they had bought from the charities during the fashion show featuring vintage and preloved bridal wear on the evening.

Michelle Garman, multi-site manager with Break, said wedding dresses were always a popular addition to their stores.

'Donated clothes are our most important thing – if people stopped recycling clothes we would not get any funds,' she said.

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