Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham


End of season- swishing success in Lewisham

Following the success of our ‘big swish’ held in Lewisham shopping centre last year, we decided to hold three more mini ‘swishes’ in the borough at – Brockley, Grove Park and Lee Green.

Swishing is swapping – people turn up with something (in this case clothing) that they no longer want and swap with other peoples clothes that they no longer want. No money changes hands and swishes are usually a sociable event with the added benefit of reducing the need to shop and reusing clothing.

The three mini swishes were held each month from January to March with thirty residents coming along to swish items of clothing. In total twenty six items of clothing were swished and other items of clothing were handed in which we sent for reuse.

Window dressing at the swishing event

Window dressing at the swishing event

The swish in March took place at Lee Green Community Centre- whilst the sewing lesson was taking place upstairs!

Feedback about the events was very positive: “Thank you, some lovely new clothes and a fab dress for tomorrow night” & “Nice relaxed event”

Another satisfied customer

Another satisfied customer – vintage dress going to a happy swisher

We haven’t currently got any more swishes planned however you can go to which advertise local events. If you don’t want to swish your clothes, you can always donate them to a charity shop or take them to one of our textile banks which are located across the borough. Click on the following link and find the nearest textile bank to where you live:

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Start the New Year with a Swish

What is Swishing?
Swishing really is swapping instead of shopping. No money changes hands as taking part involves turning up with items that you no longer want and swapping it with other peoples items that they no longer want. Swishing usually refer to clothes swapping but has now evolved to include other items such as books and furniture.

Bring, swish and go - simple

Bring, swish and go – simple

Why Swish?
It saves you money! You can get a ‘new to you’ item of clothing which is in good condition without having to spend any money. The only cost, is the item of clothing that you are giving away- which you probably didn’t want or couldn’t fit into anyway!

Any other benefits?
Yes- it can be fun and some find it quite a sociable experience! Its also environmentally friendly- you are reusing items and getting ‘new to you’ clothing reducing the need to shop!

OK, you’ve convinced me- where can I do it?
We held one mini swish at St Andrews Church in Brockley and are going to be holding another two more. Please see the following:

Swishing event Free

GrovePark community library service 27 February 4pm to 6pm

Bring some unwanted clothes to swap and freshen up your wardrobe

Mini swishing event Free

Leegate Community Centre 28 March 12 noon to 2pm

What if I don’t want to Swish but I have some old clothes that I don’t know what to do with?
You can take them to one of our textile banks which are located across the borough! Click on the following link and find the nearest textile bank to where you live:

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Lewisham shoppers bag a bargain at a ‘Big Swish’

Last Friday, the middle of Lewisham Shopping Centre was transformed into a vintage shoppers delight when the Lewisham Recycling team held a ‘Big Swish’ to raise awareness of the new textiles banks across the borough.

Big Swish 1

The middle of the shopping centre was given a ‘vintage makeover’

The term swishing refers to swopping of items, often clothes, where someone swops a garment that they no longer want with someone else’s unwanted item.

The swishing began at 10am and luckily even early visitors had a plentiful supply of quality clothes to choose from.

Big Swish 9

Bagging a bargain!

Much of the stock already on display was sourced from Lewisham’s new LMB textile banks. The quality of items on offer was very impressive, with clothing ranging from vintage garments, high street brands and designer labels.

The event was very well attended and a total of just over 80 garments were ‘swished’.  Lewisham East Member of Parliament – Heidi Alexander, also came along to show her support for textile reuse and brought along a number of ‘swishable items’.

Big Swish 6

Heidi Alexander MP at the Big Swish

Please bear in mind that textiles can still be placed into your recycling bin, but if placed in our textile banks there is a better chance of the item being reused rather than recycled. Remember – Reuse is always better than recycling!  And if you can’t get to a textile bank then there is always the option of using your local charity shop.

Details of where Lewisham textile bins are located can be found here: