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Rags to Riches

The SWWRF ‘Rags to Ritches’ spring event and AGM was held at Pinhoe Recycling Centre, Exeter and bought together representatives from member organisations in the South West focusing on textile re-use and recycling.

Our spring event and AGM held on Thursday 20th April had speakers from charities, consultancies, government bodies and local authorities providing updates on textile re-use and recycling schemes taking place at both local and national levels. Additionally, SWWRF’s annual AGM and elections took place providing opportunities for new members to join SWWRF’s Executive Committee.

This event enabled a broad range of guest speakers to share successful innovative partnerships, projects and campaigns so we could all learn about what is being done locally and nationally to stop our unwanted clothes going to landfill or other treatment. Presentations included the British Heart Foundation and their nationwide re-use schemes with universities and local authorities, the Salvation Army and their textile collection and re-use schemes, and Waste and Resources Action Programme’s (WRAP) national Sustainable Clothes Action Programme (SCAP). This was complemented by Gloucestershire’s Joint Waste Teams nappy re-use partnership with Resource Futures, and Bath and North East Somerset Council’s successful clothes swapping events. Lunch was provided by FoodCycle, Exeter – a local charity who provide meals from donated food for those living on the breadline.

It was SWWRF chairman, Dave Moore’s last event as Chair before stepping down due to business interests taking precedence. He stated ‘It is refreshing to hear about the commitment of staff in a wide range of public sector, private sector and charity organisations implementing schemes to maximise textiles re-use and recycling.

‘I am astonished by the amount of clothes being thrown away each year in the UK, but feel positive about what is being done to change the public’s attitudes and behaviours towards clothes donations and recycling, and the schemes in place to enable this to happen.

Finally he said ‘I have thoroughly enjoyed my six years at SWWRF and have made great friends along the way. I wish SWWRF, the Exec and the positive staff in member organisations all the best, and long may these great training and networking events continue to be a success.’

At the AGM the following posts up for elections were filled by:

Chair – Fiona Tame

Vice chair post – Vacant

Agenda Secretary – Rich Haycock

Minute Secretary – Liz Russell (maternity cover Beth Prince)

Treasurer – Liz Jarvis

Membership Secretary – Kate Cole

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