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Local Environmental Champions

I was recently nominated for a local award as an Environmental Champion, The Spirit of Tamworth Community awards are run by the local Round Table and this year were hosted by Statfold Barn Railway, a fabulous venue.

It meant a great deal to receive a nomination as I've been in the business of sustainable fashion for twenty years now and recognition doesn't come easy. I've seen trends come and go with sustainability awareness rising but sustainable practice in the fashion industry not always increasing.

For my part, I must have saved tonnes of clothing and textiles from landfill over the years but as it's been as much a passion as a business, I've not recorded any statistics. I'm hoping to put this right with the help of EBRI based at Aston University who are looking at compiling a report to show part of the journey the clothing I save takes and the benefits that has to the environment.

I shared a platform at the awards with the Tamworth Cool Pickers and Etheline Deer of the Belgrave Community Allotments, all most worthy nominees. It was the litter picking group that took the title on the evening, their work is visible not only from the cleaner environment they leave but the piles of rubbish we see collected by these community groups.

I'm always working to improve my own zero waste policy; no part of the fabrics and clothing I use goes to waste. However, a good point picked up during a recent EBRI meeting was the 'end of life' the vintage clothing I sell has. What does the consumer do when it is no longer useful or needed? Should I offer the option to return for part exchange? It's a good point and one that needs addressing so that this circular vintage economy can keep moving forward away from landfill.

In the meantime, I will continue to save what I can, reworking what I cant and distributing any useful waste. If you know a business that could benefit from small fabric remnants I'm happy to add them to my list? Alternatively, if you are a vintage dealer looking to offset items unsuitable for sale, I can take them for you.

I now have a certificate to show for my Environmental Champion nomination. Hopefully I'll have some statistics to share as well soon.


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