Happy swappers help save the environment

Dacorum Borough Council Clothes Swap eventHertfordshire’s happy swappers recently updated their wardrobes for free, while helping to protect the environment.

We worked with the Hertfordshire Waste Partnership, WasteAware, to host two clothes swapping events. The first took place at the Forum in Hemel Hempstead and the second was held as part of the Sustainable St Albans line-up.

On average 30 per cent of what's in our wardrobes hasn't been worn for over a year. Clothes Swaps are an important way to fight ‘fast fashion’, which is creating an environmental crisis. The textile industry is considered one of the most polluting industries in the world.

Swappers were able to bring along up to eight items of good quality unwanted clothing in exchange for tokens. They were then able to use the tokens to browse the rails and take home new items.

Over 80 people attended, bringing along more than 550 items. Sixty per cent of the items were snapped up by the swappers, whilst the remaining 40 per cent (10 sacks) was donated to local charity shops where they will be sold on for a good cause. There was just one bag of unwearable clothes left over, with items which may have been broken, torn or stained – these were put into a textile bank where they will be recycled into something new.

Every year, Hertfordshire residents throw over 7,000 tonnes of textiles into their grey bins, which goes to landfill. These could have been reused, repaired or recycled instead.

The Clothes Swap events were put on to give people the opportunity to see that second-hand doesn’t mean second-best, and that you can easily update your wardrobe with no cost to you, or the environment.

If you would like to be added to the Clothes Swap mailing list, please email