My AccountMy Account View BasketView Basket Register

Four Minutes to Change The World with Swap Shop Sew!

Last month fairandfunky headed to Huddersfield Soup to support Upcycle Fashion pitch for Swap Shop Sew – our partnership project, currently based in Holmfirth. Huddersfield Soup gives you just four minutes to pitch your proposal… please take four minutes to read Julia’s script and discover what Swap Shop Sew is all about and how YOU can help:


What’s at stake?

We are living through a climate emergency and a major contributing factor is the global fashion industry. Many people are aware of single use plastic, but consumer attitudes have evolved and single use fashion has arrived. In 20 years the fashion industry has increased production from 2 collections a year (spring/summer, autumn/winter) to 52. This doesn’t even include costumes and other novelty polyester items. This profitable business model reaps its rewards by exploiting cheap labour and low quality materials, to push the low cost, high volume fast fashion model, generating ever-increasing waste. Over 100 billion garments are made globally each year and recent studies by the UN sustainable fashion council estimates 60% of these are wasted. 2018 research from Defra states that the average active lifespan of a garment is only 3.3 years. This can’t continue. This is an unsustainable model of production. Cotton and polyester are the 2 dominant fibres and both require extraction from the land with cotton also requiring incredible volumes of water to grow.


How will we solve this problem?

Swap Shop Sew is the name of our project. It is a sustainable fashion event, bringing together these 3 solutions to provide a fun alternative to excessive consumption & environmental devastation, allowing citizens to take action where governments and CEO’s have not. The event brings together three elements of sustainable fashion in one event: Swapping clothes with others, shopping from local creative ethical businesses to support the local economy and sewing damaged clothing back together again through garment repair and upcycling techniques. The most sustainable garment is that which you already own. The water and carbon footprint has already been set, the material resources have already been extracted and all that is left is for you to wear it. As much as possible. Ideally forever. However, people change shape and size. Garments get damaged and stained. We attach memories to garments which may make them keepers, or losers. Swap Shop Sew provides solutions for extending the longevity of clothing within the community: A slow fashion framework.


How does it make a difference?

Attending Swap Shop Sew provides you with the opportunity to make a difference and connect with others in the community around the stories of our clothing. By supporting a small local creative business, or learning garment repair skills to care for the clothing you still love to wear, Swap Shop Sew provides the framework for our clothing to be shared and celebrated. Overheard comments at Swap Shop Sew events include “I bought this coat to visit my mother in Russia”and “I’ve been patching these jeans for 40 years”. One particularly popular pink tutu has been passed through at least 4 children.


What future do we want?

As we see our high streets empty, and the growing environmental devastation caused by excessive manufacture and waste, I want to see a future of swap, shop, sew events. I want a future where communities join together to celebrate the stories of our clothing and then can pass garments on to be part of some else’s story. Where I see my old coat become your new coat. Where materials are valued. Where lifelong garment longevity is the goal. Perhaps not in that one, single wardrobe, but in the wardrobes within our community (At least 270,000 wardrobes in Huddersfield!).


How would you spend the money?

We want Swap Shop Sew to be the go-to sustainable fashion framework for sustainable fashion community events around the country. We need money to invest in new, durable rails, signage, marketing materials and promotion to help us shout about our work and to help other communities take action to share and enjoy their collective clothing.


Please join us at the next Swap Shop Sew: Saturday 18th April 2020 at Holmfirth Civic Hall and keep an eye out for something exciting happening on Wednesday 11th December………

Our latest tweetsLatest Tweets
Sign up to our email newsletter to keep up to date with new products and our news!