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Reuse & share

The environmental impact of our consumer society is huge.

According to WRAP 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from clothing and footwear.

  • UK consumers buy more clothes per person than any other European country, and wear new garments just 7 times on average.*

  • By 2030 global clothing consumption is predicted to rise by 63%.

The poster designed by Generation Zero Carbon Shropshire shows some of the environmental impacts of fashion ranging from excessive artificial fertiliser, pesticide and water use. 

Discarded clothing is also significant.

  • In the UK we discard 1 million tonnes of clothing every year: 300,000 tonnes of clothing is thrown in the bin of which 20% goes to landfill and 80% is incinerated

  • Much of our used clothing is dumped in countries which lack the facilities to manage our waste such as Ghana 

  • Synthetic textiles e.g. nylon, polyester and acrylics, are made from plastics derived from fossil fuels. They are  used in 60% of our garments and can take up to 200 years to decompose.


​(*Reference Daily Mail study)​

environmental impact of clothes
Actions you can take

Don't throw things away. Consider instead: 

  • Arrange a Swap and Share event - to share resources in your community, exchanging unwanted items for something new!  Check out this Toolkit

  • Stop buying from fast fashion brands which produce clothes at high speeds and low costs to maximise profits. Instead educate yourself on sustainable brands  and share this knowledge with others. Sign up to Ethical Consumer magazine

  • Buy from charity shops or second hand stores

  • Repair or fix items and, where you can, repurpose 



re-use clothes

This video shows how Library of Things operate across London  as part of a circular economy.

Library of Things (LOTs)

LOTs are local membership schemes which lend out things for your home, projects and activities (e.g. DIY, gardening, cooking, cleaning, camping equipment etc.).  The schemes allow people to hire items on short-term loan for a small fee.  Did you know that the average drill is used for only 7 minutes in its lifetime.

These schemes help to cut down on clutter, waste and carbon emissions and save you money.

  • Check out the Library of Things in our region – the Share Shack is run by the Active Wellbeing Society in Birmingham.

Image by Hannah Busing
Local examples in Shropshire of re-use and share

Swaps, shares and giveaways
  • Climate Action Hub Telford holds regular swap, share and giveaway events and works together with Telford Repair Café and Terracycle Telford once a month in pop ups at local community centres.  Working together enables donated items to be mended and electrical items to be PAT tested before going into the swap. See their website for ideas of what you could do in your community

  • Baby Stop is a project of The Severn Community Charitable trust who hold monthly baby product shares

  • The With Love From project in Oswestry has created a shared wardrobe of party outfits for a community of conscientious shoppers

  • Little Stars is a Shropshire based charity who provide pre-loved items to families in need for children of all ages. They also have pre-loved school uniform donation points in the following Tesco stores - Shrewsbury, Ellesmere, Whitchurch, and Ludlow

Crafts and tools
  • Scrappies sells end-of-line and recycled resources for craft, art and household. It is also an outlet for Tools for Self Reliance providing pre-owned and refurbished tools to help with DIY projects. Address: Scrappies, 1 Sherratt Court, Beaumont Road, Church Stretton, Shropshire, SY6 6BN. Tel: 01694 328 508. Email:

  • Tools for Self Reliance also re-furbishes tools (including haberdashery and sewing machines) that are no longer needed and then sends them to local organisations in Africa to support rural artisans and craftworkers. Email:


Furniture and equipment
  • The Shed (for the people of Highley) receives donations from the community including toys and clothes (except large furniture) and provides help to local people in need.

  • Warp It is an online tool supported by Shropshire council which assists with re-using equipment and furniture. The portal allows you to claim and exchange items you wish with other organisations. Schools may register and login for free. Click here for more information. Email:

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