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Sustainable clothing takes centre stage at Brighton Fashion Week 

Focusing on Repair, Reuse and Recycling at the Open Market during Brighton Fashion Week. Image: Malcolm Tam Photography

A tonne of clothing donated by Cancer Research UK has arrived at Brighton Open Market for three days of free public events and workshops around clothing sustainability.

Love Your Clothes and Cancer Research UK are inviting the public to visit their ‘tonne of clothing’ event at the Open Market during Brighton Fashion Week from October 15-17 to find out how to make the most of unloved items in their wardrobe. Three days of workshops and demonstrations on upcycling, repairing and revamping will urge people to create fresh new looks from old clothes while highlighting the environmental challenge of clothing waste.

UK consumers purchase around one million tonnes of clothing every year and discard roughly the same amount. Half of these clothes are re-used, but around 350,000 tonnes of clothing goes to landfill despite all textiles and clothing being requested for recycling and charity donation.  

Love Your Clothes and Cancer Research UK are challenging designers and students to rummage through the tonne of clothing to create new items and demonstrate how to extend the lifetime of clothes and keep clothing out of landfill.

350,000 tonnes of clothing goes to landfill each year in the UK. Image: Malcolm Tam Photography

Free workshops and demonstrations on Saturday October 17, delivered by Brighton specialists Sew Fabulous and Eco Makers Emporium, include basic sewing machine and hand sewing sessions to give beginners the practical skills and confidence to tackle simple projects; as well as upcycling old clothing into stylish accessories. 

Love Your Clothes will also be hosting a free Swishing event from 10am to 1.30pm the same day with Rags Revival giving people the opportunity to bring along and swap their pre-loved clothes for something new to them giving their wardrobe a new lease of life.

People are also being encouraged to bring pre-loved, good-quality clothes to donate to Cancer Research UK. Representatives from the charity will be on site to collect donations across the three days which will then be sold in their shops to raise much needed funds for life-saving research.

Jamie Perry, campaign manager at Love Your Clothes said: “Keeping clothes in use for longer is the single biggest thing we can do to reduce the environmental impact of clothing. There is no reason for any item of clothing to end up in landfill – it can all be re-used, donated or recycled. We’ve got three days of great events planned to show people how they can give their clothes a new lease of life by repairing or revamping them and the value of choosing to buy pre-owned clothes.”

Elaine Hutchins, Cancer Research UK manager for South East, said: “We’re all guilty of holding onto clothes that don’t fit or that we no longer wear. Donating them to Cancer Research UK will help free up wardrobe space and generate the positive feeling that comes from supporting life-saving research. We are looking for clothing, footwear and accessories in good condition – all brands welcome!”

The tonne of clothes event forms part of Brighton Fashion Week, which this year focuses on sustainability and how to re-invent the way we design garments, re-think how we consume and re-define what is possible through valuing and renewing existing materials.


By Lucy Purdylucy.purdy@recycleopedia.com


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