London hosts pilot ‘re-fashion’ events

London hosts pilot ‘re-fashion’ eventsA series of ‘re-fashion’ events will be taking place across London this month in an experiment to fight fashion waste and raise awareness about the carbon footprint of our clothing.

On the weekends of 23-24 and 30-31 January, Londoners will be able to refresh their wardrobes at a number of clothes swap events and upcycling workshops run by environmental campaign charity Hubbub and North London Waste Authority (NLWA) in locations across the capital.

The campaign aims to address the serious issues of our throwaway fashion culture, epitomised, Hubbub says, in the January sales. According to the charity,  the average UK resident owns four times as many clothes as they did 30 years ago, and research by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) says that around one third of that clothing has not been worn in the last year. Those underused clothes are estimated to be worth around £30 billion.

The amount of clothes waste produced in this country is equivalent to seven tonnes of clothes being thrown away every 10 minutes, and WRAP claims that by looking after clothes for an extra nine months, you can reduce each item’s carbon, waste and water footprint by 20-30 per cent.

The re-fashion workshops will see a number of fashion designers explain upcycling techniques including mending and darning, bobble hat upcycling, alterations, jeans repair for men and denim customising for children (a full list of events can be found at the bottom of this page).

The clothes swapping events will be run by fashion recycling specialists Rags Revival and hope to encourage and help people extend the life of their clothes. These events will take place across the two weekends in locations including Enfield, Islington, Walthamstow, Camden and Hackney. Attendees will need to bring 10 items of clothing, jewellery, bags or shoes and for a £5 entry fee will be able to swap their unwanted items for secondhand clothes and accessories.

If the pilot events are considered a success, Hubbub intends to roll them out across the country.

'Valuable opportunity' to learn upcycling skills

London hosts pilot ‘re-fashion’ eventsHubbub seeks to change attitudes towards environmental issues, focusing on popular passions such as food, fashion and homes. It has recently collaborated with Ocado and HMP Northumberland to reduce the amount of clothing going to landfill by repurposing old uniforms into new garments such as aprons and pet blankets.

Gavin Ellis, Co-Founder of Hubbub, said: “January is the perfect time to learn new skills, to reorganise your wardrobe and fix up those neglected clothes in need of a little TLC. These workshops offer a valuable opportunity to learn new skills to customise and update what you have and re-work your wardrobe for 2016.

“Whilst the January sale madness offers a fast fashion fix to some, others are experiencing a dose of the January blues. After Christmas, our wallets are empty and the likelihood is we’ve ended up with presents we don’t want or need. The prospect of more shopping fills many of us with dread. January is a great time to make new resolutions, to start new ways of doing things, and learn new skills. So come along to the workshop with your friends and have some fun.”

Councillor Clyde Loakes, Chair of the NLWA, added: “It is estimated that £1,200 worth of clothes currently sit in each UK home that are completely forgotten about. These workshops will help teach you new ways to deal with forgotten clothing and teach you some skills which could help you transform them, reinventing your wardrobe, which ultimately will save you money. 

“These events and workshops form part of North London Waste Authority’s wider programme of work to reduce the amount of waste produced across north London – if everyone could make one change in just one area of your home, it can make a huge different to your pocket and to the environment. So I am encouraging you to make a change today and think about textiles differently. Head along to one of the events or workshops to find out more.”

More information on the events can be found on Hubbub’s website.


Clothes swap events:

Saturday, 23 January

Lordship Hub, N17 6NU Tottenham, 12pm-2pm

Dugdale Centre, Enfield, 4pm- 6pm


Sunday, 24 January

Chipping Barnet Library, Barnet, 1.15pm – 3.15pm

Archway Methodist Church, 4pm – 6pm, Islington / Archway


Saturday, 30 January

Gnome House, 4.15pm – 6.15pm, Walthamstow

Camden Arts Centre, 4.15pm – 6.15pm, Camden


Sunday, 31 January

The White Building, 2pm – 4pm, Hackney


Re-fashion workshops

Mending and Darning with Celia Pym, Saturday, 23rd January, 2.15pm – 4.15pm

Enfield Town Library, Enfield


Bobble Hat Upcycling Workshop, Saturday, 23rd January, 2.30pm – 4.30pm

Lordship Co-Op Hub, Haringey


Clothing Alterations and Styling, Sunday, 24th January, 2pm – 4pm

Resurrection Boutique, Islington


Denim Customising for Kids and Teens, Sunday, 24th January, 3pm – 5pm

Chipping Barnet Library, Barnet


Indigo Dyeing, Saturday, 30th January, 11.30am – 1pm

Katherine May Studio, Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow


Rag-rugging T-shirt into wall art, Saturday, 30th January, 2pm – 4pm

Camden Arts Centre, Camden


Jeans repair and alterations (for men), Sunday, 31st January, 12pm – 2pm

Everything in Colour, Queen's Yard, Hackney

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