'Get a new outfit, ethically and for free' - clothes exchange set up in Clevedon

PUBLISHED: 12:50 10 May 2019

Clothes exchange being held at The Barn, in Clevedon. Organizer Becky Newbold.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Clothes exchange being held at The Barn, in Clevedon. Organizer Becky Newbold. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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A Clevedon woman hopes to encourage more people to re-use clothes rather than replace them by launching the town's first clothes exchange.

Clothes exchange being held at The Barn, in Clevedon. Organizer Becky Newbold (right) greeting  customers with the clothes they want to exchange.        

Picture: MARK ATHERTONClothes exchange being held at The Barn, in Clevedon. Organizer Becky Newbold (right) greeting customers with the clothes they want to exchange. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Becky Newbold, aged 37, hosted the first Clevedon clothes exchange at The Barn, in Great Western Road, which attracted dozens of people to the event.

Becky used to volunteer for the Leeds Community Clothes Exchange when it began 11 years ago and has watched it grow to one of the largest running exchange events in the UK.

She said: "I missed being able to go to the exchange every month and get a new outfit, ethically and for free - so I thought I would start one up in Clevedon.

"I want to encourage people to re-use clothes rather than relying on cheap clothes which are bad for the environment due to the amount of energy and resources it takes to produce them, but also because of the impact of clothing waste going into landfill.

Clothes exchange being held at The Barn, in Clevedon. Once customers have handed over the clothes they want to exchange, they can look through the items on offer.        
Picture: MARK ATHERTONClothes exchange being held at The Barn, in Clevedon. Once customers have handed over the clothes they want to exchange, they can look through the items on offer. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

"Most people buy many more clothes than they need and end up getting rid of a lot of them.

"Added to that is the treatment of the workers in textile factories.

"Wearing second-hand clothes is by far the most ethical way to get a new outfit."

Becky and the other volunteers have been offered a stall at Clevedon market where she would 'love' to see a weekly exchange.

Clothes exchange being held at The Barn, in Clevedon. Organizer Becky Newbold.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTONClothes exchange being held at The Barn, in Clevedon. Organizer Becky Newbold. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

She added: "This would enable people to browse used clothes where they already shop and would be an easy drop-off point for their used clothes.

"I'm hoping it will become much more community led, with volunteers running it and making decisions."

However, Becky cannot do it alone and needs volunteers who can run the Thursday stall, in Queens Square, so they can help reduce waste in landfills.

Becky is also in urgent need of space to store the clothes in between exchanges, saying her bedroom is 'currently overrun by clothes and rails'.

Clothes exchange being held at The Barn, in Clevedon. Volunteers sorting the clothes into size.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTONClothes exchange being held at The Barn, in Clevedon. Volunteers sorting the clothes into size. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

The clothes which were not kept for the next exchange were donated to the Cancer Research UK shop with profits also being donated to the charity.

Becky will look to move to different charity and possible put some profit aside for the storage facilities.

The first exchange was held 
on May 1 and the next will be 
held at The Barn from 7-9pm on June 5 and every first Wednesday after.

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