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The latest fashion craze: clothes swapping for charity

PUBLISHED: 13:34 22 October 2010 | UPDATED: 15:50 20 February 2013

Barbara Unsworth, QEF shop manager, Nicky Hambleton-Jones and Lynn Robinson, QEF retail manager

Barbara Unsworth, QEF shop manager, Nicky Hambleton-Jones and Lynn Robinson, QEF retail manager

Ethical, eco-friendly and fun, swapping clothes has become the latest fashion craze to hit the UK and the Rose Theatre was recently home to a rather worthy bout in aid of the Queen Elizabeth Foundation...

Ethical, eco-friendly and fun, swapping clothes has become the latest fashion craze to hit the UK and it is not uncommon for canny fashionistas to benefit by overhauling their wardrobes for free.

What made the event at the Rose Theatre in Kingston, on Wednesday February 25, so special was that it was designed to help raise money for local disability charity, Queen Elizabeth's Foundation (QEF).

"As this recession tightens, more and more people are visiting our charity shops looking for ethical bargains but ironically, donations of unwanted clothes are dropping," said Simon Dillsworth, head of business development at QEF. "Charities are no different than commercial companies in terms of needing to find creative solutions to commercial problems and we have to find a way of stocking our 13 shops across Surrey with good quality clothing."

Ladies were asked to bring along four garments, swapping three and donating one item to be sold through QEF charity shops. The evening was a great success as over 150 women exchanged their unworn, unwanted clothes for a new, free wardrobe while, at the same time, doing a good turn for others.

Helping QEF to make 'Swapping for Good' a night to remember, TV style guru Nicky Hambleton-Jones came along to offer advice, Dermalogica experts were on hand to provide a skin analysis and fashion students from Kingston University gave tips on how to customise fashion to suit the individual.

"Everyone seemed to have a really good time but more importantly for QEF, we have filled our shops with an amazing array of clothing ready for sale," said Dillsworth.

Queen Elizabeth's Foundation is a registered charity based in Leatherhead that supports adults with complex disabilities through the work of its specialist centres.

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