Swishing success for eco-friendly fashionistas

PR2207/ED/MH - 26/02/2019

Mid Sussex District Council held a free Clothes Swapping and Textiles Event at St Richards Church Hall in Haywards Heath on the 20 February. It was open to all Mid Sussex residents to attend, as part of the West Sussex Waste Partnership ‘Tackling Textiles’ campaign.

Residents were able to bring up to 10 items of good quality un-wanted clothing or accessories per person and exchange them for new items. There were 598 donations in total, which equates to 175.85 kilos of textiles potentially saved from household waste bins.

The event provided advice on sustainable fashion, with ideas and information on how to re-use, repair and upcycle unwanted textiles and clothes rather than throwing them away. Residents were also able to talk with West Sussex waste prevention advisors about what can or can’t be recycled.

The West Sussex waste prevention advisors ran practical workshops and demonstrations to share ideas on how old textiles can be reused or upcycled. Sussex Crafts and Mid Sussex District Council ran textile craft activities for children, such as making sock puppets from old solo socks and making little bears or rabbits from re-using old close knit jumpers.

Refreshments, tea and cake were served in the church hall run by St Richards Church.

Councillor Gary Marsh Cabinet Member for Service Delivery said:

“Last year people in Mid Sussex threw nearly 405 tonnes of textiles in with the general rubbish, the majority of which could have been repaired, reused or recycled.

“Swapping clothes with others is a great way to freshen up your wardrobe, protect the environment, save money and have a lot of fun. Our free swishing event enabled local people to exchange unwanted items of clothing for something different and I’m delighted so many people embraced the idea.

“We couldn’t have run this swishing event without the support of other local organisations. I would like to thank Cllr Ellis for her help co-ordinating the event and the West Sussex waste prevention volunteers for their fantastic textile demonstrations. Thanks to Fat Face for lending us some clothes rails, Roman for donating clothes hangers, Diann Johnson, Girl guiding Commissioner for Perrymount District and Isobel Price of 3rd Haywards Heath ranger unit for help sorting clothes.

“I must also mention everyone at St Richards Church, who were such gracious hosts, Haywards Heath Town Council for their wonderful clothing donations and helping us to move all the clothes and the British Heart Foundation for recycling and reusing all the clothes that didn’t find a new home.”