A WEST Oxfordshire town recently held its first community clothes exchange - and its organiser is already looking forward to the next event.

The premise of the clothes exchange sees the public bring in unwanted clothing items and accessories and swap with other people.

Witney Community Clothes Exchange is a community project which encourages recycling and cutting down on waste.

Eighty-two people attended the exchange at The Plough, Witney, with 700 items of clothing brought.

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Of that total, 550 items were swapped, with the remaining 150 donated to charity.

The organiser of the event - Becki Lane-Newman - said: "We were completely overwhelmed by the turnout and we even had to turn a few people away as we didn't have any more space for clothes.

"It's all about making people more aware of the issues.

"These are my first steps into doing this sort of thing and I'm really pleased with how it went.

"People said that it was very well organised and what Witney has been waiting for."

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The 38-year-old moved to Witney in November from Bristol and explained why she held the event.

She said: "It's a simple idea really, the main thing is to make sure it is well advertised and then hopefully more people will hear about it and it can grow.

"It was early last year when I decided I wanted to get involved myself and do something.

"I started the project in November and decided to take the plunge and go for it really.

"Textiles are the country's fastest growing waste stream - in the UK, 9,513 garments are dumped every five minutes.

"My own motivation for doing this was from watching documentaries about sustainability such as The True Cost and RiverBlue."

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The True Cost is a documentary film, which focuses on fast fashion, whilst RiverBlue looks at the fashion industry's impact on river pollution.

Ms Lane-Newman - who wants to reduce consumption and raise awareness of consumer habits - said that almost one and a half million litres of water was saved from swapping, rather than buying new.

She also thanked the volunteers who helped out for their 'fantastic work'.

Residents can look forward to future clothes exchanges all the way through until August.

The events take place every eight weeks, with the next one set for Saturday, April 4.

A range of clothing is accepted, provided they are in a good, clean condition and are ready to be worn again.

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To take part in the swap shop, take up to 10 good quality, clean, gently worn items that are no longer wanted.

The unwanted goods are then swapped for tokens, which are used to get new items of clothing or accessories.

Following a half hour period of browsing, the 'Swish' opens and the public are able to grab new goods.

Swishing was popularised in 2008 by sixties icon Twiggy in the BBC television programme Twiggy's Frock Exchange.

Since then, swishing has become increasingly popular and swishing parties regularly raise money for charity.

Macmillan Cancer Support often endorse and promote swishing parties.

In the future, the Witney Community Clothes Exchange is hoping to set up workshops and speakers about sustainability in the town, although a venue has yet to be secured for these.