Hubbub launches upcycling workshops to ‘reinvent’ unused clothes

Hubbub is launching a new series of low-cost upcycling events that allow people to 're-fashion' their wardrobes, in an effort to reinvigorate the £30bn of underused clothes that lay dormant in wardrobes in the UK.

The leading behaviour change charity is teaming up with the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) to host the upcycling events across the weekends of 23/24 and 30/31 January. The events will see old clothes ‘re-invented’ and repaired as well as offering a clothes swap option with other people.

If these initial trials are a success, the re-fashion events will be rolled out nationally.

“January is the perfect time to learn new skills, to reorganise your wardrobe and fix up those neglected clothes in need of a little TLC,” said Hubbub founder Gavin Ellis. “These workshops offer a valuable opportunity to learn new skills to customise and update what you have and re-work your wardrobe for 2016.

“Whilst the January sale madness offers a fast fashion fix to some, others are experiencing a dose of the January blues. After Christmas, our wallets are empty and the likelihood is we’ve ended up with presents we don’t want or need. January is a great time to make new resolutions, to start new ways of doing things, and learn new skills.”

New ideas

Hosted by Brighton-based clothes upcycler Rags Revival, the workshops – taking place in Enfield, Barnet, Archway, Islington, Camden and Waltham Forest – address the issue of throw-away fashion cultures in an attempt to halt the growing amount of unnecessary waste being sent to landfill.

Councillor Clyde Loakes, chair of North London Waste Authority said: “It is estimated that £1,200 worth of clothes currently sit in each UK home that are completely forgotten about.  These workshops will help teach you new ways to deal with forgotten clothing and teach you some skills which could help you transform them, reinventing your wardrobe which ultimately will save you money.”

The events form part of NLWA’s wider waste reduction programme throughout London having previously unveiled bold plans to develop a new £500m energy recovery facility that will generate electricity from non-recyclable waste to power local homes and businesses.

Hubbub has previously teamed up with Ocado and a prison in Northumberland to prevent the online retailer’s corporate uniforms being unnecessarily sent to landfill.

Retailers are also beginning to tap into the opportunites brought about by clothes recycling. Swedish clothing chain H&M is offering a €1m grant for pioneering ideas which ‘close the loop’ on discarded clothing, while Levi Strauss also recently announced plans to open clothing recycling collection points at all its local stores.

Matt Mace

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