Sustainable clothing takes centre stage at Brighton Fashion Week

1st October 2015

A tonne of clothing donated by Cancer Research UK arrives at Brighton Open Market for three days of free public events and workshops around clothing sustainability. 

Love Your Clothes and Cancer Research UK are inviting the public to visit their ‘tonne of clothing’ event at the Open Market during Brighton Fashion Week from 15-17 October to find out how to make the most of unloved items in their wardrobe.  Three days of workshops and demonstrations on upcycling, repairing and revamping will show people how to create fresh new looks from old clothes while highlighting the environmental issues of clothing waste.

UK consumers purchase around one million tonnes of clothing every year and discard roughly the same amount. Fifty per cent of these clothes are re-used, but around 350,000 tonnes of clothing goes to landfill despite all textiles and clothing being requested for recycling and charity donation.  

Love Your Clothes and Cancer Research UK are challenging designers and students to rummage through the tonne of clothing to create new items and demonstrate how to extend the lifetime of clothes and keep clothing out of landfill.

Free workshops and demonstrations on Saturday 17 October, delivered by local specialists Sew Fabulous and Eco Makers Emporium, include basic sewing machine and hand sewing sessions to give beginners the practical skills and confidence to tackle simple projects; as well as upcycling old clothing into stylish accessories. Places on workshops can be booked online at

Love Your Clothes will also be hosting a free Swishing event from 10am to 1.30pm on Saturday 17 October with Rags Revival giving people the opportunity to bring along and swap their pre-loved clothes for something new to them giving their wardrobe a new lease of life.

People are also being encouraged to bring pre-loved, good-quality clothes to donate to Cancer Research UK. Representatives from the charity will be on site to collect donations across the three days which will then be sold in their shops to raise much needed funds for life-saving research.

Jamie Perry, Campaign Manager at Love Your Clothes said:

“Keeping clothes in use for longer is the single biggest thing we can do to reduce the environmental impact of clothing. There is no reason for any item of clothing to end up in landfill – it can all be re-used, donated or recycled. We’ve got three days of great events planned to show people how they can give their clothes a new lease of life by repairing or revamping them and the value of choosing to buy pre-owned clothes.”

Elaine Hutchins, Cancer Research UK Area Manager for South East, said:

“We’re all guilty of holding onto clothes that don’t fit or that we no longer wear. Donating them to Cancer Research UK will help free up wardrobe space and generate the positive feeling that comes from supporting life-saving research. We are looking for clothing, footwear and accessories in good condition – all brands welcome!”

The tonne of clothes event forms part of Brighton Fashion Week, which this year focuses on sustainability and how to re-invent the way we design garments, re-think how we consume and re-define what is possible through valuing and renewing existing materials.


Notes to editors:

For further information contact: Naomi Evetts, Love your Clothes PR Officer:  07815 509 258 /

Spokesperson and images available on request. 

  • The tonne of clothes event takes place at Brighton Open Market, Marshalls Row, Brighton, BN1 4JU.  Schedule of events:
  1. Thursday 15 Oct: Local designers and upcyclers together with fashion/textile students from Northbrook College will create new pieces out of a ‘tonne of clothes’ donated by Cancer Research UK
  2. Friday 16 Oct: Series of clothing discovery sessions for local primary and secondary schools
  3. Saturday 17 Oct: Full programme of public workshops and demonstrations. Places on workshops can be booked online at
10.00-11.00 Sewing machine basics: Sew Fabulous      Swishing with Rags Revival    
11.00-11.45Demonstration: David A MumfordSwishing with Rags Revival
12.00-13.30Drop in repair clinicSwishing with Rags Revival
13.00-13.45Demonstration: David A MumfordSwishing with Rags Revival
13.30-15.00Upcycled accessories: Eco Makers Emporium 
15.00-16.00Hand sewing basics: Sew Fabulous 
15.30-16.15Demonstration: David A Mumford 
Love Your Clothes is a consumer campaign to help reduce the impact of clothing across the UK.  It does this by helping consumers’ change the way they buy, use and dispose of clothes, encouraging them to:
  1. Buy smart - choosing clothes that last longer, are pre-owned, integrate easy care technologies; 
  2. Extend the useful life of existing clothes - repairing items, accessorising, laundry care; and 
  3. To ensure unwanted clothes are re-used or clothes unsuitable for re-use are recycled. Visit the website for tips and ideas on fixing, upcycling and caring for your clothes at / @loveyourclothes #fashionsalvage

The clothing industry represents the fifth-biggest environmental footprint of any UK industry. Extending the average life of clothes by just three months would lead to a 5-10% reduction in the carbon, water and waste used in the clothing manufacturing process.

Love Your Clothes was developed by WRAP to support the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP). Leading clothing retailers, charities (including Cancer Research UK) and textile collectors/recyclers have signed up to the SCAP 2020Commitment and pledged to reduce the environmental footprint of clothing across its lifecycle. Valuing our Clothes is WRAP’s ground breaking report into the financial and environmental impacts of clothing.

WRAP’s vision is a world where resources are used sustainably. It works in partnership with governments, businesses, trade bodies, local authorities, communities and individuals looking for practical advice to improve resource efficiency that delivers both economic and environmental benefits. @WRAP_UK

  • Cancer Research UK:
  1. is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research. The charity’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.
  2. receives no government funding for its life-saving research. Every step it makes towards beating cancer relies on every pound donated.
  3. has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival rates in the UK double in the last forty years. 
  4. supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.
  5. Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured. 

For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1861 or visit Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

  • Brighton Fashion Week launches October 15-17th with partners Love Your Clothes, World Fair Trade Organisation, The Ethical Fashion Forum and Cancer Research UK to host a week of sustainable and ethically focused catwalk shows, movie screenings, panel discussions and fringe events; including a talk with Fashion Revolutions Orsola De Castro.