Great Britain

Clothing project marks the start of Shipley ‘revolution’ plans

A NEW project aims to inspire a recycling revolution in Shipley while turning the country’s “consumer culture” into something positive.

The project, run by a small number of socially-distanced volunteers and the British Muslim Women Forum, launched after local women noticed the trend of clearing out wardrobes in lockdown.

At the time, charity shops were not accepting donations and council tips were closed but the team were determined to find a new use for old clothes.

The high quality clothes, shoes, scarves and bags that would have been thrown out will be shipped to a rotary club in Karachi, Pakistan, next week, thanks to its first sponsor Kesser Jewellers.

Described as “a true partnership between sisters” by councillor Sabiya Khan, the donations will be used by women who want to enter the world of work with “confidence”.

It is hoped the project will occur every quarter of the year as well as inspire an eco-friendly solution to wardrobe clear outs locally.

Speaking to the Telegraph & Argus, Cllr Khan said: “The lockdown did inspire people to create that culture of people clearing out things in their lives that they didn’t need. It’s a consumer society so, rather than let things go to landfill or not be used, our items are going to be put to good use elsewhere in the developing world.

“We’ve been collecting the things and said we want high quality loved things.

“We want to establish this project. Every quarter we will be sending out shipments and sending them out as people can volunteer. They can get involved in many ways, promoting the recycling revolution and helping with the packing.

“People had things they accumulated and we had this call from Karachi that the rotary club there had identified this need, particularly around empowering women, helping them into work.

“In the developing world we’ve got to look at it from the perspective of that culture and environment where people just look to survive, particularly women the first time they go to be working outside the family environment.

"This will help them to have confidence and self esteem so they can operate appropriately dressed and have these things."

Vick Jenkins, a volunteer co-ordinator at the Kirkgate Centre, said the pandemic had put a halt to some of its annual recycling events but was “keen” to make this scheme a reality.

She said: “The Kirkgate Centre were really keen to support this project of reusing especially during Covid when we are not fully functioning.

“We felt it fit in very well with our reuse, repair and recycle projects. Normally we organise a very busy clothes swap four times a year, a repair cafe and encourage community recycling.”

“We are pleased this will help women into employment.”

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