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Thursday, 23 May 2013


New Year's Eve 2012 - As I sipped my champagne cocktail, awaiting the midnight fireworks, wearing my new favourite dress bought for me, as a birthday present, by my two lovely daughters,  I wondered what my New Year's Resolution would be.

All the usual things came to mind - you know the ones... eat less, exercise more, reduce the alcohol intake!

But I had another idea, inspired by two tips sent in for my book which I thought would be fitting with my mission to get the waste reduction message across.

I decided that I would buy no new clothes (nor shoes, nor any other accessories) for a whole year. I outlined my plan in a blog post in February - in brief, I would buy only second-hand, repurposed or up-cycled items in an attempt to reduce my carbon footprint and save money too.

Fast forward to May 2013: I decided that I would try to wear only second-hand, repurposed or up-cycled items when I piloted my Dustbin Diet workshops and gave talks in schools, and so I took a look at my wardrobe, had a good mooch around my local charity shops and put together a few outfits to fulfil that goal.
Photo: My Eco Activities Day at the wonderful Octavia's Bookshop in Cirencester,
 wearing purchases from my local Oxfam shop accessorised with upcycled necklace by Laura Hounam.

I also came across this fantastic website called which will be a great help when I get my workshops in full swing later this year.  With you get to trade in clothes and accessories you don't wear for virtual money credits which you can use to buy clothes from the website that you will wear.

Here's how it works:

Click on the picture to open it fully 

I spoke to the team at and they have set up a special offer code of rosie306 which will get you £1 of virtual swishing money to start you off. They will also give £1 of virtual money to my Dustbin Diet project for each person who registers with the rosie306 code by 30th June this year.  This will be a great help towards being able to encourage some of the young people to think about a more environmentally friendly approach to fashion, so I will be very grateful for your support if you sign up.

I'm now in my 5th swishing month and I've probably bought more clothes than I do normally, but I have certainly reduced my overall spend. In these tough economic times, I'm sure lots of us are trying to do just that.  There couldn't be a better time to take up some new green living money-saving resolutions, don't you think?  

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