Dressed to impress for recycling success

Oxfam volunteer, Sheena Teasdale (Barnardo’s), Michael Bartley (Age UK), Sheelagh Berry (Scope) and Ruth Smith (DCC).

Members of a new charity shop forum dressed from top to toe in donated clothing as part of a drive to encourage clothing reuse.

Members of a new charity shop forum dressed from top to toe in donated clothing as part of a drive to encourage clothing reuse.

 

Durham County Council, alongside staff from 12 charity organisations including Age UK County Durham, Barnado’s, Oxfam and Scope, have joined together to create the ‘County Durham Charity Shop Forum’, which will co-ordinate charitable giving and encourage members of the public to donate unwanted clothes, shoes and textiles.

 

At the group’s official launch, members of the forum dressed in donated clothing, shoes and textiles to demonstrate the positive effects of reuse.

 

Ruth Smith, Durham County Council’s external project officer for waste and recycling, said: “We wanted to encourage clothes recycling by showing how all of the items we are wearing are appealing, smart and completely reusable.

 

“On average, 30 per cent of clothing inside people’s wardrobes has never been worn and seven per cent of items placed into County Durham rubbish bins are clothes and textiles which could have been donated for reuse.”

 

The forum will now develop and co-ordinate communications and initiatives, including displaying upcycled artwork from art students at New College Durham in local shop windows.

 

It is also aiming to raise the profile of the shops’ work with local communities and encourage more people to donate and volunteer.

 

Michael Bartley, retail manager of Age UK County Durham said: “Age UK is thrilled to be part of the County Durham Charity Shop Forum to help raise awareness about clothes and textiles reuse and recycling.

 

“On average each charity shop reuses 40 tonnes of items in a year. Funds help sustain local charities, as well as proving local people on low incomes with a source of affordable clothing – especially children’s clothing which needs renewing more often due to growth and wear and tear.”

 

All charity shops are dependent on donations and volunteers to run effectively and anybody interested in getting involved should contact or pop into their local charity shop.

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