Local homelessness charity, Emmaus North East, is partnering with South Shields’s award-winning blogger and Instagram influencer, Laura Ferry, to highlight the environmental impact of buying preloved items as part of this year’s Recycle Week.

From 23-29 September 2019, Emmaus North East will be proudly supporting the seventeenth annual Recycle Week campaign, organised by Recycle Now, encouraging individuals and organisations to recycle, reuse and reduce.

Laura’s emphasis throughout the week is to show the importance of slow fashion and preloved items, and how buying second-hand can not only give your home or your wardrobe a new lease of life at a fraction of the cost but can also have a positive environmental impact on a local, national and global scale too.

“In a time where we are always looking to have the latest trend, whether its clothing or gadgets, charity shops provide a way of slowing everything down,” says Laura, who writes the blog What Laura Loves.

“The stigma that used to be attached to buying preloved and second-hand goods has changed dramatically in recent years, with people starting to realise the importance of buying items that make you feel good, and that you can incorporate into your own style. Our ‘throw away’ culture is causing massive environmental issues, and places like Emmaus North East’s shops mean that a vast number of items are saved from landfill. This Recycle Week, instead of buying new, buy preloved. The thrill you get from finding that one item you’ve been searching for, especially if it’s out of season, is second to none. After browsing Emmaus’s clothing section in Low Fell, I know that the quality and quantity of well-known high-street brands can often be found if you look carefully.”

Emmaus North East is a local homelessness charity that supports 15 formerly homeless people by giving them a home, meaningful work in a social enterprise, funded training and an opportunity to regain lost self-esteem to help rebuild their lives.

Social enterprise is central to the Emmaus model as it not only provides meaningful work for formerly homeless people, but also generates funding and sustainability. With two shops, a workshop, a social supermarket and a pop-up stall at the South Shields market once a week, Emmaus North East prevented an average of 1500 tonnes of waste going to landfill in 2018. It provides training courses to formerly homeless people in practical skills such as carpentry and repairing electrical items so that donations can be upcycled and/or repaired, and then sold on.

John Harrison, Executive Lead at Emmaus North East said, “Charity shops play a vital role on the high street, providing affordable clothes, furniture and other items to those who may be struggling to provide these essential items for themselves and their families. It has been great working with Laura to highlight how you don’t always need to buy new.”

For the seven days throughout Recycle Week 2019, Laura will feature on Emmaus North East’s social media pages providing tips and advice on how to incorporate pre-loved pieces into your everyday wardrobe.

For more information about Emmaus North East’s involvement with Recycle Week, follow ENE on social media @emmausne or visit www.emmaus.org.uk/northeast.

For more information about what you can do for Recycle Week visit www.recyclenow.com.