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Why sustainable fashion is making a difference in Bramley

A movement created and run by volunteers to encourage sustainable fashion in Bramley is set to hold its latest exchange event. Founder Vickie Jamieson writes about how the clothes swap is saving both the planet and your purse at the same time

Vickie Jamieson runs Bramley Clothing Exchange

Bramley Community Clothing Exchange is back on Saturday 16 October. It opens from 11am to 1pm at Bramley Community Centre on Waterloo Lane, Bramley. Entry is £3 per person, though children are free.  

If you have never been before a clothing exchange is a little but like a ‘Bring and Buy sale’ – except the clothing you bring acts as your currency for the clothing you ‘buy’ – and you can ‘buy’ up to the number of items of clothing you have donated. A straight swap basically.  New clothes, or ‘new to you’, for the cost of the entry fee. What a bargain!

Participants are asked to bring up to 20 items of clothing (if you are bringing children’s clothes too please feel free to bring 20 items of children’s clothing plus the 20 items of ‘adult’ clothing).  The items you bring should be anything new or ‘gently’ worn, in good & clean condition – something you would be happy to receive. 

On your arrival you will ‘check-in’ the clothes you have brought and receive a token with a number on to reflect the number of clothing items you brought. This is your credit to now ‘spend’. You are then free to browse.  

At the clothing exchange there is a huge variety of items to pick from, there’s men’s, women’s and children’s clothing.  

There are coats, dresses, trousers, suits, pyjamas, sports clothing, shoes, bags, hats and scarves etc. When you are done and have picked the clothing you like you can ‘check-out’ and swap your numbered token for the items you’ve picked.  If you haven’t used up all of your credit that can roll-over to the next event – so you don’t lose out. 

Clothing exchanges like ours in Bramley help to combat the climate emergency.

According to figures from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), it takes 3,781 liters of water to make a pair of jeans, from the production of the cotton to the delivery of the final product to the store.

That equates to the emission of around 33.4 kilograms of carbon equivalent.  And that’s just for one pair of jeans, imagine the environmental cost for everything in our wardrobes. The fashion industry is one that creates huge amounts of carbon emissions and  pollutes water and land across the globe.  

Every year the fashion industry uses 93 billion cubic meters of water, which is enough to meet the consumption needs of five million people.  

Of all waste water created around the world 20% of it comes from fabric dyeing and treatment. And of the fibre and fabric used by the fashion industry 87% is incinerated or disposed of in a landfill. Of the total global carbon emissions the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of it, which is more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.

And if it’s not enough to save the planet and your purse at the same time, we have teamed up again with Leeds Inner West Uniform Exchange so parents can find school uniform and PE kit items that literally won’t cost the earth. 

No charge will be made to those accessing the Uniform Exchange only. Find out more about the uniform exchange here.

And to top it all off there will be hot and cold drinks on offer, with cakes, biscuits and buns to buy too; with all proceeds from the event going to Dementia UK. 

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