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Tackling Textiles

At Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful we want to raise awareness on the growing issue of clothing and textile waste.  Fashion should not cost the earth.

Did you know that *:

  • Across the UK, including Northern Ireland, we throw away 1,000,000 tonnes of textile waste each year with 300,000 tonnes ending up in landfill.
  • We buy more clothes that any other EU country.
  • We have 5 times more clothes than our grandparents.
  • “Fast Fashion” has a negative effect on our environment creating carbon emissions, water, chemical and plastic pollution.

We want you to stop putting unwanted clothes in the bin and start thinking about how you can: 

Fashion Forever Key Message

Fashion Forever coming to the Northwest

Stop! Drop Shop Derry

During February and March, we are delighted to be working with Foyleside Shopping Centre in Derry, Foyle Hospice and Fashion and Textile Design Centre to help you to Stop! Drop and Shop preloved clothing.

  • STOP – never put unwanted clothing in your bin.
  • DROP – your clean “unwanted” clothing to the Fashion Forever Clothing Bank in Foyleside Shopping Centre from Monday 13 February until Friday 3 March and you will be supporting the valuable work of Foyle Hospice and ensuring your “unwanted” clothing has a second life.
  • SHOP – the wonderful world of preloved clothing at the Fashion Forever pop-up hosted by the Fashion & Textile Design Hub at Foyleside Shopping Centre on Saturday 4 March from 9.30am. Fashion lovers will have the opportunity to get their hands on unique preloved looks and experience a new way of shopping.

We would encourage you to give preloved a chance – not only are you supporting local charity, you are helping our fragile environment. Keeping existing clothing in circulation for longer rather than buying brand new helps to cut down the environmental impact of clothing production.

Recent research from Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful has revealed that just four per cent of local people recognise the production and consumption of clothing and textiles as harmful to our environment. The research also found that only 17% of shoppers normally buy second-hand clothing on a regular basis, but over 60 per cent said they would like to explore buying more preloved clothing rather than brand new.

This year’s campaign is supported by Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), leading shopping destination, Foyleside Shopping Centre, Fashion and Textile Design Centre and charity, Foyle Hospice. All will come together to help encourage fashion lovers to stop putting clothing in the bin and instead explore a new relationship with their wardrobes.

First Fashion Forever Festival

Fashion Forever Festival

European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) kicked off on 21 November 2022, and we were delighted to bring a range of free events.

With the growing concern over the ethical and environmental impact that fast fashion and the textile industry has on the world, we believe the importance of educating everyone to be more conscious in our efforts to create a more sustainable future. At Fashion Forever we encourage reuse, repair, and reimagine of our clothing and textiles. The most sustainable clothes are the ones that we already have.

We have arranged a range of workshops delivered by wonderful local designers and skilled crafts people, which are happening both in person and online. The workshops cover a width of topics, from using your sewing machine, developing your skills in stitching, sewing and garment cutting, to making your own sustainable products.

We wish to thank the National Lottery Community Fund for their support, and the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

Remember: never put your unwanted clothes in the bin. Reuse, Repair, Reimagine - Fashion Forever

Learning sustainable skills

All Fashion Forever Festival events were free to attend.

Monday 21 November

Stop – Don’t Dump – Make Old New Again! 10am-2pm

Join Naz McNabb from Cub Kids Clothing at the Fashion and Design Hub in Derry/Londonderry and learn how to turn old into new. The magic art of sewing and mending. 

Create A Sustainable Bag with Titanic Denim. 11am-2pm 

Join award-winning designer, Marie Nancarrow from Titanic Denim at Ormeau Bowling Pavilion in Belfast and create your very own sustainable denim bag from old jeans. 

Talking Textiles: EWWR Special

Listen in as we chat all things fashion, environment and preloved clothing with Mark Dowds, CEO and Founder of Responsible, Jacques Hills, Co-Founder of HARU, and Siobhan Purnell from Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful. The podcast will be available on our social media on Monday 21 November.

Wednesday 23 November

Upcycle A Preloved Shirt. 10am-12pm

Join Laura Millar from Oh Sew Design Co at the Fashion and Design Hub in Derry/Londonderry for a visible mending workshop to add excitement to worn and tired garments. 

Get To Know Your Sewing Machine. 7.30pm

Join us online with Angeline Murphy (a former contestant on the Great British Sewing Bee) and fall back in love with your sewing machine. Get lots of tips and advice and turn an old shirt into a new cushion. 

Thursday 24 November

Learn The Art of Visible Mending. 7pm

We are delighted to bring our Fashion Forever workshop to the members of the Footprints Women’s Centre based in Belfast. The workshop will be delivered by Sarah Hoppe from Sew Ready.

Join Sarah in Lisburn for a wonderful workshop on the art of visible mending and the ancient Japanese art technique of Sashiko.

Friday 25 November

An Introduction into Natural Dyeing Techniques. 10am-12pm

Join Alison Hancock from the Foxes Wedding at the Fashion and Design Hub in Derry/Londonderry and explore the magical art of natural dyeing fabrics and yarns to transform your wardrobe. 

Tuesday 29 November

Create A Tote Bag from An Old T-Shirt. 7pm

Join us online with award-winning designer, Síofra Caherty from Jump the Hedges for a fun evening talking all things sustainability and learning how to turn an old t-shirt into a handy tote bag.

Further information

For inspiration on tackling textiles, go to our Instagram page @fashionforeverni

For advice and top tips, check out www.loveyourclothes.org.uk 

*Information from the UK Parliament 2019 report – Fixing Fashion, clothing consumption and sustainability

This project is funded by Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, in partnership with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful Tackling Textiles team and Eco-Schools NI.