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The best clothes that money can’t buy

03rd October 2022

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It was a case of out with the old, and in with the old, as Great Big Green Week was marked in Rickmansworth with a huge clothes swapping event.

The swap was organised by Three Rivers District Council to help reduce clothing waste and encourage the use of second hand clothes.

More than 40 people dropped off a massive 856 items of clothing they no longer wore, with more than 70 people swapping tokens to claim new items of clothing. The event took place at Rickmansworth Library and was organised by Three Rivers District Council with support from Sustainable Three Rivers and LovedUp ReLoved.

Cllr Phil Williams, Lead Member for Environmental Services, Climate Change and Sustainability, said: “With the trend of fast fashion resulting in more than half of all items bought thrown away in less than a year, and more than 7,000 tonnes of textiles being discarded in kerbside bins across Hertfordshire, more must be done to reduce our consumption and carbon footprint, and reuse what we already have.

“Clothes swapping is a great way to reduce waste and reuse what we have, while saving money. With the fashion industry being responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions, a reduction in consumption will help us reach our target of a net-zero carbon district by 2045.”

Any items not taken as part of the swap were donated to local refugee groups, including Watford and Three Rivers Refugee Partnership, who offer practical and emotional support to asylum seekers and refugees in West Hertfordshire. A small number of items not fit for reuse were sent for textiles recycling through textile banks.

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Great Big Green Week is a national event and aims to draw attention to the climate emergency and destruction of the natural world while encouraging people in the community to do their bit. It ran from 24 September to 2 October.

If you have clothes at home you no longer wear you can drop them at textiles banks, take them to a charity shop, organise a swap yourself, or arrange a free home textiles collection from Three Rivers District Council here.  

The next swap will happen in spring 2023. If you would like to be kept up to date with events including clothes swaps, please sign up to the Greener Living newsletter here.