Making North London children’s fashion a circular movement 

On 20 November 2022, the community centre hosted an event to promote recycling pre-loved children’s clothing in an attempt to reduce waste, and give parents a way to borrow and donate clothes. An estimated 200 people attended, with children enjoying face painting, crafts, and a bouncy castle as their parents browsed tables piled with clothes for newborns and up. 

Organiser Vonnie explains her inspiration for the event: 

“Like most mamas I kept bags and bags of vacuum-packed clothes for baby number two, not really giving much thought to if I’d be able to have another baby, if it would be the same sex, or of it would be born at the same time of year. I was admittedly precious about buying things for my beautiful baby girl—she was my first and hard to get, so I didn’t give a huge amount of thought about buying her clothes. But she grew so fast and quickly, that she barely had time to wear anything. 

I ended up being overwhelmed by baby items; and then I was lucky enough to finally have another baby, my son, who was born in summer. My daughter came in the spring, so many of the saved items simply didn’t fit. 

Two women with red jackets and grey hair hold up a yellow children's coat. They stand beside a table covered in clothes.
Hornsey Vale volunteers Pien and Annette admire some of the clothes on offer at the inaugural Loopey event.

I have become so conscious of waste and frustrated at the lack of opportunity to try and reduce my own personal output. While living in a part of the city with so many children, I wanted to look at ways to help create a circular fashion movement focused on children. So I came up with the idea of Loopey, a children’s clothing library where parents could rent bundles of clothes for little ones and return them as they grow.

Loopey’s big sister Lolovivi gives parents a hassle-free platform to sell their children’s clothes. Parents simply package up the items they’d like to sell in a pre-paid paper bag, and send them in. We send back a guestimate for sale price, and we list the items for them, taking a percentage from items sold to help with the running costs of Loopey. 

By sharing items we love, and selling items we no longer need, we prolong the life of each item, helping the planet and pockets all at the same time. Loopey’s collaboration with Hornsey Vale Community Centre is very exciting, and we hope the project will grow in time to help service most of North London”. 

Vonnie adds that she was pleased the event was well-attended and unfolded as planned. “The success of the event is in the fact that I did it – it was great to have a date, a plan, and to make it happen.” The overall intention of this initiative is to make sure families have access to great clothing for their children regardless of how much they can afford to pay.

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