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Tackling Textiles

At Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful we want to raise awareness on the growing issue of clothing and textile waste.  Fashion should not cost the earth.

Did you know that *:

  • Across the UK, including Northern Ireland, we throw away 1,000,000 tonnes of textile waste each year with 300,000 tonnes ending up in landfill.
  • We buy more clothes that any other EU country.
  • We have 5 times more clothes than our grandparents.
  • “Fast Fashion” has a negative effect on our environment creating carbon emissions, water, chemical and plastic pollution.

We want you to stop putting unwanted clothes in the bin and start thinking about how you can: 

Fashion Forever Key Message

Fashion Forever Festival at 2 Royal Avenue, Belfast

Fashion Forever Festival

In 2024, Fashion Forever went big and held a one-day event at 2 Royal Ave, Belfast City Centre. It was a day to celebrate the wonderful world of Reuse, Repair and Reimagine of our clothes and textiles.

Lots of people joined us for a day of inspirational activities, including a communal sew-along, preloved clothing stalls, workshops demonstrating how to reimagine/repair your clothes and a series of short talks and demonstrations. 

At this year’s festival we were joined by a host of partners and contributors making sustainable textiles accessible and relatable to all. 

Who was there?

Fashion Forever, our Tackling Textiles Coordinator, Siobhan Purnell was on hand to welcome everyone to 2 Royal Ave and help visitors get the most out of the day and learn something new. Siobhan gave short “Let’s Talk Fashion” presentations throughout the day with top tips and advice.

NI Resources Network, exploring all things reuse and repair.

Belfast Met displayed work from their final year Fashion and Textile degree students. The students work included upcycled and reimagining of old clothes and textiles into new and useful products. 

Ulster Folk MuseumValerie Wilson, Curator of Textiles and Roisin Aiston, Craft Demonstrator at the museum, shared knowledge about the extensive work the museum does around textiles alongside demonstrations of heritage textile skills and showed examples based on objects in the museum’s collection and traditional textile craft skills.

Tools for Solidarity, ran mini workshops on creative garment mending and demonstrating simple techniques.

Fiddlesticks Fabric shared their sewing knowledge and be exhibited some of the items made during the 'Sewing for pleasure and the planet workshops’ recently held in Ballymena.

Make it Fab hosted mini workshops designed to highlight textile waste and be part of creating unique artwork.

St Vincent De Paul, brought a wonderful range of preloved clothes hosted by Dunmurry and Ormeau Road St Vincent De Paul.

Colour and Cloth hosted a range of mini workshops and talks covering a range of topics from upcycling, natural dyeing, and slow mending.

Angeline Murphy shared her journey into sewing and upcycling tips and advice.

Repair Café Antrim and Newtownabbey offered a show/teach simple visible fixing on a one-to-one basis and gave talks about the wonderful repair café movement across Northern Ireland.

Sally’s Vintage highlighted her wonderful range of vintage clothes. 

Belfast City Council showcased how to use your old fabrics to make useful products and shared what the council is doing around textile waste.

Wako Jacko shared his unique preloved creations, all lovingly designed by him.

ForSight, brought a fabulous collection of preloved clothing from the team at ForSight Charity Retailer. 

Remember: never put your unwanted clothes in the bin. Reuse, Repair, Reimagine - Fashion Forever

Further information

For inspiration go to our Instagram page @fashionforeverni

For advice and top tips, please check out www.loveyourclothes.org.uk.

*Information from the UK Parliament 2019 report – Fixing Fashion, clothing consumption and sustainability

This project is funded by Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, in partnership with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful