A CHARITY shop forum has been set up in a drive to encourage clothing reuse.

Twelve charities are working with Durham County Council on the forum, which is also aimed at raising the profile of their work.

To launch the County Durham Charity Shop Forum, volunteers dressed up in donated clothes.

Ruth Smith, from the council, said: “We wanted to encourage clothes recycling by showing how all of the items we are wearing are appealing, smart and completely reusable.”

She says 30 per cent of clothing in people’s wardrobes have never been worn and seven per cent of items in County Durham bins are clothes and textiles which could be donated.

Michael Bartley, retail manager of Age UK County Durham said: “Age UK is thrilled to be part of the County Durham Charity Shop Forum to help raise awareness about clothes and textiles reuse and recycling.

“On average each charity shop reuses 40 tonnes of items in a year. Funds help sustain local charities, as well as proving local people on low incomes with a source of affordable clothing – especially children’s clothing which needs renewing more often due to growth and wear and tear.”