Clothes and bras

The People's Friend Special - - HOBBIES -

Although many of us take clothes we no longer wear to char­ity shops or jum­ble sales, there are other ways to re­cy­cle cloth­ing. Marks & Spencer first teamed up with Ox­fam in 2008 to launch their Sch­wop­ping ini­tia­tive, mak­ing it easy for you to give your un­wanted items a sec­ond life.

Noth­ing ends up in land­fill. Clothes – taken into ei­ther a par­tic­i­pat­ing M&S or Ox­fam shop – are sold in Ox­fam shops, sold overseas or re­cy­cled. Around £20 mil­lion has been raised for Ox­fam via this scheme in the past 10 years, which helps them to fight poverty.

Some of the do­nated clothes are sent to Sene­gal to Ox­fam’s so­cial en­ter­prise, Frip Ethique. Many women earn a liv­ing there sort­ing out items, in­clud­ing bras, that can be sold to lo­cal mar­ket traders.

“We work to­gether and laugh to­gether,” Char­lotte, one of the clothes sorters, says. “Work­ing at Frip Ethique has changed my life.”

Lin­gerie re­tailer Bravis­simo, found in cities such as Aberdeen, Leeds and Read­ing, also par­takes in a bra recycling scheme. Do­nated bras that can be reused are sent to girls and women in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries across the world. Oth­ers are bro­ken down and re­cy­cled into new items which are then sold.

Money raised by Bravis­simo this year is be­ing given to Mind, a char­ity that pro­vides ad­vice and sup­port to em­power any­one ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a men­tal health prob­lem.

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