I recently learned that roughly 30% of the clothing in my wardrobe will have remained unworn for a minimum of a year. Upon investigation and a rummage into the deep dark depths of my wardrobe, I was horrified to find that indeed this was correct. What if there was a way to swap the items I no longer wear for something I will wear all the time? Well there is!
Picture the scene: a beautiful and vibrant open space, friendly, passionate staff and volunteers, and curious community members surrounded by an exciting and optimistic atmosphere. Wee Wardrobe is a collaboration between Creative Dundee, Jade Anderson, a local Creative Practitioner and The Gate Church Carbon Saving Project and is based in the Scrap Antics space in the Wellgate Centre in Dundee.
The visit made Jade, and I reminisce of our younger years visiting the bustling Wellgate Shopping Centre, where wishes were made by throwing pennies in the Fountain and everybody stopped to celebrate the Clock when it chimed.
There was a Wee Wardrobe onsite to give a taste of how a community wardrobe works. I browsed the rails filled with beautiful clothing that someone had decided they no longer needed. There were items in a wide range of sizes and styles all clearly marked which meant finding something to suit me was a breeze. Due to the wardrobe being smaller scale, one item could be taken for free which was fabulous. Whether you were looking for a beautiful dress, smart shirt or slouchy jumper, Wee Wardrobe had it!
The Community Wardrobe, run by The Gate Church Carbon Saving Project, was based at Gate Church International on the Perth Road in Dundee but this is currently closed until the end of March whilst the move is made to their new location at Nethergate, under the new project name Transition Dundee.
I spoke with Joyce Reid who is a project worker with Transition Dundee, and she explained if any communities were eager to set up their own community wardrobe, Transition staff can arrange for a clothing rail to be delivered as well as offering advice and support.
Wee Wardrobe in the Wellgate Centre isn’t merely rails of clothing though, the programme of events had something for everyone with crafty workshops, storytelling and plenty of ways to cut down on fast fashion such as mending cafes and knitting. I was lucky enough to attend a storytelling workshop run by the talented Sarah. I learned lots of new tips and had a great time meeting members of the local community.
The Wee Wardrobe provided a jam-packed week of learning, opportunities, exhibitions, socialising and fun all whilst helping to raise awareness and offering a sustainable alternative to the 206.456 tonnes of textile waste produced by the UK in a year.
Will you be checking how many things you have in your wardrobe which you no longer wear? I can’t wait to visit the new location and get myself a revamped wardrobe, maybe I will see you there?