This may seem like the perfect time for a wardrobe clear out. But the charity shops are closed, clothing recycling facilities are largely unavailable, and with both our shops shut we’re currently not in a position to accept donations either. So what can you do with that pile of unwanted clothes?

Here are our top tips:

Take another look at that pile of clothes. Are there things that just need a simple mend? Fixing a zip, mending a tear or replacing a button can give a whole new lease of life to your clothes. Darning or “shibori” mending is relaxing and gives a rich personal history to your clothes. You Tube is a wealth of resources for ‘how to’ videos and if you’re stuck with anything we can help too! Sign up for one of our virtual meddle & make sessions you’ll be able to chat via zoom with one of our friendly experts.

Could that old pair of trousers be turned into shorts, could that T shirt become a crop top? Get creative and transform your old clothes into something completely new and unique. Pinterest is a great resource for ideas. Once you know what you want to do, get in touch with us for top tips and advice about your project. We can be with you (virtually) from the start to completion of your project!

Unpicking & deconstructing
Unpicking a garment is a fascinating way to learn about how clothes are constructed. It’s also a simple and relaxing job you can do while watching TV or chatting on skype. If you don’t have an unpicker, a small sharp pair of scissors will do the job. Start with any visible stitching and work your way down the seams. You’ll end up with fabrics, zippers and buttons that can be used on completely new creative projects. Good quality fabrics can be used for garments and accessories, whilst older fabrics be used for cleaning cloths or stuffing.

Virtual clothes swapping
Clothes swaps are great fun – and they still can be in the virtual world. Get together with friends and family for a digital clothes swap on Zoom, WhatsApp, Skype or Facebook House party – share pictures of the clothes you don’t want and see if there’s a taker! You can then simply label the clothes and put them away until next time you meet in person.

If family and friends live close by and you’d like to drop off the clothes, please take every care to ensure you are not spreading the COVID-19 virus. We’re not scientists, so don’t want to make recommendations, but this web page from the London based fact checking charity FULL FACT has a helpful and authoritative section on fabrics.

Enjoy your project!

If you’re still left with a pile of unwanted clothes, please put them aside for a few months and get in touch later in the summer when we’ll be happy to accept your donations.