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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
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Pocketmags Digital Magazines

It’s a new life

The charity helping to end clothing waste and supporting those in need

Fast fashion might only be perceived as a modern day issue, yet for the past 30 years, Newlife, the Charity for Disabled Children, has been running a recycled clothing operation where surplus high street fashion is sold on to raise money for life-changing equipment to help thousands of vulnerable children across the UK. Not only does this enhance the life of these disadvantaged kids, but it also helps save unwanted clothing items from landfill. We caught up with CEO of the charity, Sheila Brown, to find out more.

We wanted to have a positive social impact and, for us, that’s about helping people and the planet. Instead of just using the normal fundraising route, I had a background in retail, while my husband has worked in environmental youth work, in an area where if you asked young people to be green, they thought you were talking about a colour. It was an uphill struggle for him in those days. I was looking to raise money, and he was trying to get young people to be greener, so together we came up with the idea to make use of unwanted clothing. We realised we could have a positive impact by combining the two. We asked retailers what they did with the stock they no longer needed – like returns or over-orders. Around 28 years ago, people had no idea that they should be doing something different with these items. We have three sons and two of them have completely different disabilities, so it comes from a personal place, too.

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About Be Kind

Hello, Most women can remember their first period. Maybe you were lucky enough to have someone comfort and reassure you during yours, or maybe you worked things out for yourself. Either way, for a lot of women, from that first period onwards, it’s a monthly event that is shrouded in shame. A hush-hush secret between friends, a missed PE lesson, a surreptitious tampon passed underhand from a colleague, a sanitary pad shoved up a sleeve, a handbag conspicuously carried to the bathroom – for something perfectly natural, experienced by 50 per cent of the population, why the stigma? We spoke to the brilliant illustrator Hazel Mead (p20) about period shame and how, with her clever drawings, she is breaking taboos and opening up the conversation. Her pieces challenge misconceptions around real topics – like feminism, sex and periods – and she is a passionate campaigner against period poverty. Like Hazel, it’s about bloody time we put an end to the humiliation and mystique around our periods, and liberated ourselves by talking about them honestly and openly. Aside from the emotional impact of periods, they create some shocking environmental damage, too. While we’re all trying our best to use our keep cups and Tupperware, we need to consider the footprint of our sanitary products. Each pad used is the equivalent of four plastic carrier bags – a female uses on average 11,000 throwaway period products in a lifetime, so, if these are all pads, that’s equal to 44,000 carrier bags. Fortunately, there are some great alternatives which are better for the planet and your pocket, too – find out more on p80. Enjoy the issue, Phillipa Editor