A CLOTHES swap event is set to be held in Southend in a bid to “tackle the impact of fast fashion” and help to create a “kinder economy”. 

The event, known as a “swishing event” will give visitors the chance to exchange their clothes with others at no cost and reduce the amount of clothing being chucked away. 

The scheme also aims to reduce the waste produced by “fast fashion” – cheap clothing which is mass-produced to meet short-term demand. 

Southend’s Green Party has organised the event, which will take place on January 27 at St Mark’s Church Hall, in the city centre. 

Tilly Hogrebe, Green Party general election candidate for Southend West and Leigh, said:

“There’s a huge appetite for a more sustainable way of living, and these kinds of initiatives are a great way of starting a conversation about a kinder and more circular economy.

“Swishing events are becoming increasingly popular as shoppers begin to acknowledge the role fashion has to play in tackling climate change and global inequality.

“I’m really looking forward to taking part in this event led by the local Greens.”

The party says fast fashion is a major polluting industry in the UK, with global textile production contributing more to climate change than international aviation and shipping combined.

A spokesman added: “Many people don’t yet understand the true environmental impact a shopping spree can have. Buying just one white cotton shirt produces the same level of emissions as driving 35 miles in a car.”

Swishing participants are encouraged to rummage through their wardrobes for any clothes they no longer wear and bring them along to exchange for a new outfit. 

Entry to the event, running from 2pm to 5pm, costs £5 and each visitor will receive three tokens to exchange for items of clothing. 

Attendees are encouraged to bring along their own items to exchange, with every item giving them an extra token to use.

All items for swapping must be clean, wearable, and in good condition. Clothes and accessories, including bags, are welcome. Donations of toys and books are also encouraged.

Items left unexchanged at the end of the event will be donated to local charity shops.