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Green Heart Collective Rescues Second Hand Fashion, Finding It a New Home

Ugh! Don’t you just hate it when you have nothing to wear but you still have too many clothes clogging up your wardrobe? That’s why we were so excited to connect with Dopplle; we love clothes swapping as well as finding other ways to keep clothes moving and out of landfill.

Find Out How Green Heart Collective Rescues Second Hand Fashion, Finding It a New Home

We founded Green Heart Collective as a response to the mountains of waste that goes to landfill. We have a particular focus on fashion since we all know as an industry it is highly polluting, wasteful and uses a lot of resources. You can take your pick of shocking statistics.

“Every second, the equivalent of a rubbish truck load of clothes is burnt or buried in landfill.” (Ellen MacArthur Foundation).

According to Wrap, just one pair of cotton socks takes about 600 litres of water to grow and make.

“Two tonnes of clothing a minute are bought in the UK, more than any country in Europe.” – Oxfam

Hard to visualise the damage? Run a search for “Atacama Desert fast fashion graveyard” or “mountains of clothes washed on Ghana beach”.

Our main way of tackling waste is working with local businesses to deal with their deadstock and returns. We rescue as much as we can, selling second hand fashion, books and yoga equipment online and in-store. Working with various local charities we pass on any items that they need.

We recently hosted a Transformation Challenge where people had to take two damaged garments and transform them into a two-piece outfit. It was great to create wearable clothing out of damaged stock we had rescued, but it was also super rewarding for our contestants, some of whom had never made a full garment before! It was a way of enjoying the whole process of making, styling and wearing fashion without waste.

Clothes swaps give people another reason to fall in love with fashion again. We have organised some clothes swap events and every time they’ve been a big hit, raising money for Care4Calais and Peace of Mind North East. And we’ve got more events on the way; there will be another two Transformation Challenges and a Clothes Swap during Great Big Green Week. We love bringing people together.

Co-Founder Helen Redfern said: ‘Over the last few years, my dream has taken shape to create a community of people committed to changing the way they live and shop with a view to changing the world – a Green Heart Collective – and there has never been a better time to turn that vision into a reality.’

Co-Founder Andy Redfern said: “We can’t accept business as usual and so we are building an unusual business. We are a social enterprise – any profits must be invested into our mission of diverting waste away from landfill. This isn’t about making money – it’s about making a difference.

“We are structured as a collective – a group of people with a common purpose. Some will be leaders, some will be employed and some will be volunteers. All will have a voice in making this a better place to work and a better place to change the world.”

If you’ve found yourself nodding along with any of the above, then please do see what we’re up to on social media; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Don’t be a stranger!