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Environmental Charity Hubbub Encourages Clothes Swapping Initiative To Reduce UK Textile Waste


Hubbub is an environmental charity that explores innovative ways to interest the mainstream public in important sustainability issues, through different ‘hubs’ of activity: Food; Fashion; Homes; Neighbourhoods. This week, in line with Fashion Revolution Week, the charity has aptly focused on fashion and the amount of clothing that either ends up in landfill, 300,000 tonnes annually, or is sitting in the back of our wardrobes unworn.

‘Street Store’ is Hubbub’s latest initiative which aims to reduce textile waste and increase community cohesion through clothing swaps that allow people to update their wardrobe for free. 

A typical Street Store event will have a simple clothes rail allowing people to bring along their high-quality pre-loved clothes, hang them up and take something else in return, with all swaps based on trust. It’s also a place for sharing tips on how to care for clothing, so that favourite pieces can be enjoyed for longer. Developed by Hubbub and funded by North London Waste Authority (NLWA) under the Waste Prevention Community Fund, Street Store has been successfully trialled across several locations.

Now Hubbub is encouraging community groups, businesses, schools and charities across London and the UK to run their own Street Store events to help benefit local communities and prevent clothes going to waste. The charity has produced a simple how-to guide containing all the information and materials needed to set up a Street Store event. No experience is needed to set up an event, with the toolkit designed to be as flexible and easy to use as possible. Street Store could be a one-off event or a longer-term community fixture, working best in locations where members of the public regularly meet up in the community such as schools, libraries, cafés, community spaces and local businesses. Organisers can choose whether to run a general event for the whole community or a swap for specific kind of clothing such as childrenswear, Halloween costumes or Christmas-themed clothing. 

Trewin Restorick, CEO of Hubbub, said: “We throw away tonnes of clothes each year, which is terrible news for the environment and bad for our bank balances too. The Street Store trials we ran in North London last year were really popular and we’re excited about extending the scheme to find even more clothes a good home. Increasing the lifespan of our clothes will decrease the amount of clothing that goes to landfill and help local families save money at the same time. We’d encourage anyone interested in the initiative to visit the website and download our simple guide.” 

Related articles:

Fashion: #LoveNotLandfill

reGAIN App Aims to Revolutionise Fashion Recycling

Microfibre Pollution and How To Wash Smart

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