Encouraging communities to swap clothing and give their wardrobe a second life

Every year in the UK we throw away 350,000 tonnes of clothing and there's a massive 183 million items of outgrown baby clothing tucked away in UK homes.

In an effort to prevent these clothes ending up in the bin, we’ve launched ‘Street Store’ - a campaign and kit to help community groups and schools set up a clothes swap where people can swap high quality clothes they don't want, for ones they do. Follow the campaign with #StreetStore.

A typical Street Store will have a simple clothes rail allowing people to bring along their high-quality pre-loved clothes, hang them up, and take something else in return. They also have a few designed posters to explain to people how they work, tags to help organise clothes and social media images to help spread the word about your Street Store. We've started with children's clothing, but you set up a Street Store to swap any type of clothing.

The difference made

Street Store was successfully trialled in a community centre and an after-school and summer activity club. From one event in South Derbyshire town of Swadlincote268 items of clothing were brought in for swaps and 29 people took part in the workshops. Following the success of the stores, we want to encourage other community groups, businesses, schools and charities to run their own Street Store to help further benefit the local community and prevent clothes going to waste. 

Want to set up a Street Store near you?

We’ve produced a how-to guide  below with all the information you will need to get started. This can be a one-off event, something you have in place for a couple of days or a longer-term community fixture. Street Store can be easily modified to suit your needs, enabling a wide range of people to swap items of clothing. Download the resource kit here. 

Street Store has been developed by Hubbub and North London Waste Authority. If you have any questions about running your own event, get in touch at [email protected]. If you run your own event, we’d love to know how you got on.