Young Brits Shift to Thrift

From designer fashion rentals to clothes-swapping circles, sharing clothes shifted up a gear in 2020 with clothes swapping set to be one of the big fashion trends of 2021, driven by fashion and eco conscious Gen Z and Millennials.

This predicted shift to thrift has been accelerated by the pandemic amongst younger digitally switched-on consumers aged 16-30. According to a new survey carried out by Censuswide* on behalf of the North London Waste Authority (NLWA):

  • 1 in 2 Millennials (25-30) and Gen Z (16-24) bought second-hand, swapped or borrowed more in 2020 than 2019
  • 1 in 5 Gen Z belong to a virtual swap group
  • A third of Gen Z have been re-wearing clothes more and over a quarter of all respondents (26%) intend to do this more

Committed to helping people find ways to live more sustainably, NLWA encourages consumers to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and recently ran a series of virtual clothes swapping events. This approach is backed up by the influencer marketing platform Wearisma, which found a 47% increase in engagements for #clothesswap content in Q2 2020 compared to Q2 2019 across all key social media platforms.

Green is not yet the new black and fast fashion is fighting back hard – just look at Black Friday £1 bikinis from big retail brands, but market research for 2020 both pre and post COVID-19 pandemic points to the fact that second-hand fashion is the fashion sector’s biggest growth area. In June, US consignment company thredUP’s 2020 Resale Report predicted that the value of the second-hand clothing market can be expected to trump that of fast fashion by the end of the decade, and 20% of UK citizens say the pandemic has changed their approach to fashion.

Chair of NLWA Cllr Clyde Loakes said: We ran our first clothes-swapping events in north London in 2013 and we’ve seen appetite for them grow and grow. Attendance at the first events was 338 people, but last year’s events saw over a thousand people coming through the door.

“It is encouraging that young people are realising they need to be more sustainable, but we cannot afford to lose momentum on tackling the climate emergency. Clothes swapping is invaluable. It’s inclusive, free, and is definitely a step in the right direction. We need to wake up to the fact that endless consumption is taking its toll on our planet.”

Interestingly only 13% of those polled said they wouldn’t wear clothes someone else has worn before, (11% of Gen Z), which means 87% are happy to do so. This is good news for sustainability. After all, the most sustainable fashion we own is in our wardrobes.

Commenting on the shifting sector and the survey findings, Fashion Psychologist Shakaila Forbes-Bell said: With the economic fallout of COVID-19, the climate crisis and the growing numbers of Gen Z coming of age, the continued growth of thrifting seems assured.

NLWA Top Tips on Reducing Textile Waste:

  • Reuse – Find your closest charity shop or clothing bank where you are in north London with the Charity Retail Association’s search tool. Join swapping events or swap with friends and family.
  • Removing stains – Taking care of clothes helps them stay in good condition and last longer. Search online for tips on getting rid of all kinds of stains.
  • Repairing and altering clothes – Repairing or altering clothes can bring them back to life and save money. Check out NLWA’s guides on how to adjust a seamrepair an edgesew on a buttonor repair a hole. If you don’t feel confident to alter a garment, or if it looks complicated, there are lots of local professional alteration services available.
  • Textile recycling – When clothes and other textiles cannot be repaired, they can be reused or recycled. It’s always best to try to repurpose these in the first instance, such as using them as dust cloths. Where reuse is just not an option, textiles can be taken to your nearest reuse and recycling centreor visit Recycle Now to find the nearest bank.
  • Buy sustainably – All of this doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself every now and again, but there are more sustainable options around, and they might save you money too. Try browsing your local charity shop or vintage clothes shops for some bargains, or even sites like EbayGumtreeor Freecycle for good value or freebies. Or, for special occasions you can find local hiring companies on Love Your Clothes.

More info:

102 million disposable facemasks thrown away in the UK each week would cover Wembley pitch 232 times over

A new campaign to encourage the nation to switch to reusable facemasks has been launched today, as research for North London Waste Authority (NLWA)* reveals that 102 million single-use facemasks** are being disposed of each week in the UK. These masks end up being thrown away or littered, creating a huge new plastic pollution problem.

The poll also found that nearly one in five people (18%) think that disposable masks should go in the recycling bin, which is resulting in increased contamination issues at recycling facilities.

Facemask littering has also become a common sight during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 45% of those surveyed feeling angry when they see masks littered on the ground or in waterways. And many go uncollected, with 15% saying they sometimes would pick up other people’s litter but are not doing so during the pandemic in case of contamination. With 70% of those who wear disposable facemasks not realising that they are a single-use plastic, NLWA is today launching a campaign to encourage people across the UK to switch to reusables – and to help those who can least afford them in north London access a free reusable mask.

Chair of North London Waste Authority, Cllr Clyde Loakes, said: 

“The progress we’ve all made in reducing our reliance on single-use plastics is at risk of being undone during the pandemic, and disposable facemasks are a major culprit. They are not made of paper, they are not recyclable and whether they are binned or littered they will damage the environment. Today we are urging people to keep doing their bit to help tackle the climate emergency by switching to reusable masks, which offer just as much protection as disposables.”

“Steve Oulds, National Commercial Manager at Biffa Waste Services Ltd, a Materials Recovery Facility, said:

“Contamination is one of the biggest challenges we face, and we are now seeing many disposable facemasks coming through our facility every day. Where facemasks are found in the load, it can result in the entire load being rejected and losing otherwise perfectly good recyclables. Masks that make it into the facility have to be pulled off conveyor belts by hand, which puts the health of our operatives at risk. We are also dealing with more tissues and wipes than normal – and even get Covid-19 test kits. None of these items are recyclable and they should go in the general waste bin.”

It’s not just facemasks that are fuelling the single-use plastic problem. 16% of respondents say their use of other single-use plastics has gone up during the pandemic. Delivery packaging was the top item to have increased in use (15%), followed by takeaway packaging (12%) and supermarket food packaging (12%).

When asked about plastic in the context of Covid-19, more than one in five (21%) say they are concerned about plastic pollution but right now health is more important so they are happy to use more single-use plastic for now. 16% think it’s safer to buy food such as fruit/veg in plastic packaging than loose as it’s protected and 28% say they are concerned about plastic pollution and trying to use less single-use plastic but it’s harder to cut down during the pandemic.

Dr Jennifer Cole of Royal Holloway University of London and Northern European Hub Coordinator of the Planetary Health Alliance said:

“It’s vital that we don’t let the pandemic push back very real gains we have made in reducing single use plastics. If you can’t find a coffee shop that will refill your reusable cup, take a flask instead. Buy from a stall that wraps your roll in cardboard rather than polystyrene, wash loose vegetables rather than expecting them to be wrapped in plastic, and start to see face coverings as a fashion accessory – choose three or four cloths ones that can be washed with your laundry and coordinate with your outfits. There is no excuse for slipping back into using throwaway cups or relying on throwaway masks when reusable alternatives are available”.

NLWA is working with not-for-profit social enterprise Fashion Enter to create 1,400 reusable facemasks to be distributed in the run up to Christmas via food banks and other support services across north London***. To find out more about the facemask project and learn how to make your own reusable mask, visit

Barley shortlisted for two edie Awards

Hot on the heels of our Better Society Awards win last week, we are thrilled to be shortlisted for two edie Sustainability Leaders Awards in the Consumer Engagement/Marketing Campaign of the Year category.

The first Awards of the 2021 season, edie Awards entrants were asked to demonstrate how they adapted their work in light of restrictions imposed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The two campaigns shortlisted are:

Hubbub –  Community Fridge Network

Food waste is a huge issue in the UK, with £13bn of edible food thrown away in homes annually and a further £3bn wasted by the hospitality and food service sector. Barley supported the launch of Hubbub’s 100th community fridge at Dumfries House, opened by HRH Prince Charles. Unable to invite a full press pack to the event due to restrictions, we got around this by targeting and securing a high visibility feature article in The Sunday Telegraph and securing PA to film the event and syndicate the footage.

The campaign grabbed the attention of local food retailers and food service businesses to donate surplus food and raise the fridge’s visibility among vulnerable community members. We achieved 190 coverage items, and the network is now redistributing an average of 975 tonnes of food surplus per year in the UK, equal to approximately 1.9 million meals.

North London Waste Authority (NLWA) & OLGA –  Swish and Style

In the UK, more than 206.456 tonnes of textile waste is produced each year, and only 25% of it is reused or recycled. NLWA’s Swish and Style campaign, supported by OLGA and Barley, aimed to raise awareness of the environmental impact of fast fashion and encourage north Londoners to swap, restyle, shop second-hand, or otherwise reuse/recycle their clothing.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic meant that the final two events were cancelled. However, while our overall target for Swish and Style clothes swap events was to divert 1.2 tonnes of textiles from waste, across 14 events, we more than doubled this, diverting 2.5 tonnes of textile waste across 12 events. We achieved 36 coverage items with OTS/H of just under 59m, exceeding all media targets.

NLWA has also since partnered with eco-fashion campaign #LoveNotLandfill, and clothes swap app, Nuw to launch Stop & Swap; a series of nine online clothes swaps and Instagram Live talks designed to divert further tonnage of waste from landfill or incineration.

The full shortlist for the edie Sustainability Leaders Awards 2021 can be found here:–/

We’re excited to hear the results at the virtual awards ceremony on 3rd February 2021!

#LoveYourForest campaign branches out to on-the-go recycling

Brightly coloured on-the-go recycling bins for cans and plastic bottles have been installed in local towns of the Forest of Dean today, as part of the #LoveYourForest initiative to tackle rubbish in the area.

Launched by environmental charity Hubbub, the new eye-catching bins have been installed in the town centres of Cinderford, Coleford, Lydney and Newent, and mark the next phase of the campaign, which is broadening activity beyond reducing litter, to increasing recycling as well.

#LoveYourForest is run in collaboration with local employer Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I, Forest of Dean District Council, Forestry England, Foresters’ Forest, and Forest of Dean & Wye Valley Tourism; and the new bins have been unveiled today by local MP Rt Hon Mark Harper.

Each year 250  tonnes  of rubbish is removed from the Forest of Dean, costing local taxpayers £450,000 per year to clean up.​ In 2016, Hubbub and local partners launched the #LoveYourForest  campaign to tackle the issue, trialling a number of interventions which in four years has seen more than 800 bags of litter collected in the area.

New research conducted amongst over 3,000 UK residents* reveals three quarters (75%) of people feel angry that people who throw litter have such disregard for their local environment. 48% said they had noticed an increase in littering/fly tipping since lockdown measures eased on 1st June.

Local artist Dorota Grabkowska with her creationTo mark the launch of the new bins, an installation by local artist Dorota Grabkowska highlighting how long rubbish takes to biodegrade, will be installed at Beechenhurst. Dorota designed the sculpture as part of a competition launched in February and has been busy bringing her winning design to life over lockdown. The sculpture will be touring the area over the next 6 months.

Join the campaign by following #LoveYourForest or find out more at

Rhiannon Ashley,  Project Co-ordinator at Hubbub, said: “While at-home recycling has improved over lockdown, litter levels have been rising across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, and our research suggests that two thirds (66%) of people agree the state of their local environment matters to them more now than ever before as they’re now spending much more time closer to home.

“This demonstrates more than ever the need to move towards a circular economy, so we’re delighted to expand the #LoveYourForest initiative by offering local towns around the Forest of Dean new bins to increase recycling whilst out and about, keeping litter out of the forest and in the loop.”

Michelle Norman, Director of Sustainability at Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I, said: “This next phase of Love Your Forest combines our two great passions; recycling and the Forest of Dean, where we’ve been making drinks for almost a century.

“These recycling bins, along with the art installation are an important reminder that plastic bottles needn’t end up as litter and that together we really can make a difference to our environment and bottle-to-bottle recycling. We’re proud to support Love Your Forest and hope that people embrace the new bins so that this next time next year we’ll be reporting on increased recycling rates in the Forest of Dean.”

MP for the Forest of Dean, Rt Hon Mark Harper said: “It was a pleasure to preside over the “grand unveiling” of the new eye-catching recycling bins in the Forest of Dean. Litter is a blight on our communities and roadsides and spoils our enjoyment of our beautiful forest and countryside. It is also very expensive, costing local councils hundreds of millions of pounds a year to clear up.

I am proud of the involvement of Suntory Beverage & Food in the #LoveYourForest campaign. As one of the joint collaborators within the campaign, this fantastic local employer is putting in the effort to play its part in reducing the levels of litter here in the Forest of Dean.

I would strongly encourage people to make use of these new recycling bins as well as taking their litter home and disposing of it in the correct manner.”

Councillor Sid Phelps, Cabinet Member for the Environment at the Forest of Dean District Council said: “The Forest of Dean District Council is delighted to support Love Your Forest in this exciting next-step of the campaign. Our contractor’s street cleansing teams are out every morning to tidy up the town centres, which includes emptying the general waste litter bins. It’s tremendous that the some of the litter which would have normally made its way into these bins can now go on to be recycled. We want everyone to use the on-the-go recycling bins correctly which is why the new bins can be found next to a normal litter bin so any rubbish which isn’t either a metal drinks can or a plastic bottle can be disposed of properly too.”

Leoni Dawson, Community Ranger for Forestry England said: “Forests during lockdown and since restrictions have lifted provide so much for people’s health and wellbeing. We have seen and dealt with a lot of litter over this period and we are looking forward to the awareness the new phase of the campaign will raise.”

Sue Middleton,  Programme  Manager at Foresters’ Forest said:  “This new phase of the Love Your Forest campaign encourages everyone to really think about how we can recycle plastics and cans, helping keep litter out of our Forest.”

Network Rail introduces coffee cup recycling: Passengers encouraged to Sip, Save and Recycle to help make stations greener

Coffee loving commuters are being encouraged to Sip, Save and Recycle their cups in Britain’s biggest and busiest stations, as Network Rail rolls out the first of their new coffee cup recycling bins at King’s Cross, Leeds, London Bridge, Waterloo, Liverpool Street, Charing Cross and Cannon Street.

As passenger numbers slowly increase and with 60% of station retailers now open, those travelling by train or visiting the stations can make use of the bright orange bins to recycle any paper coffee cups purchased during their journey.

Recycled cups are turned into upcycled reusable cups and other products including tissue and packaging, reducing waste and encouraging a circular economy.

Partnering with environmental charity Hubbub and working closely with waste provider, Interserve, Network Rail will be installing specially designed bins at all managed stations – including Birmingham New Street, Bristol Temple Meads, Edinburgh Waverley, Manchester Piccadilly and 11 London stations – by the end of October.

The rollout comes as a new YouGov study commissioned by Network Rail reveals that consumers want to recycle cups but often do not know how:

  • 58 per cent use either a waste bin or general recycling bin to recycle cups despite these systems being unable to manage paper cups; almost a quarter (23 per cent) of those who use a general recycling bin did not realise that coffee or paper cups should be recycled in specific bins.
  • Only 3 in 10 adults (30 per cent) who purchase a cup of coffee while travelling reported that they use a bin specifically designed for recycling coffee cups once they have finished with it.
  • Of those who don’t tend to recycle paper cups, just over half (52 per cent) say it’s because there isn’t anywhere available for them to do so throughout their journey, while 21 per cent feel that public recycling facilities are inadequate.

The initiative follows Network Rail’s launch of their new sustainability strategy, which includes ambitions to make stations greener.

Jo Lewington, Chief Environment and Sustainability Officer at Network Rail, said: “We know that more of our passengers want to do their bit for the environment and recycling is an easy way for them to get involved. So, as we start to welcome passengers back in ever increasing numbers, we’re working harder than ever to ensure our stations are not only cleaner, but also greener.

“By installing accessible, easy-to-use cup recycling bins across our managed station network this year, we’re helping our passengers to reduce their waste with a simple message – “Sip, Save and Recycle”. We believe the initiative will go a long way to supporting the circular economy and making our stations more sustainable.”

Gavin Ellis, Director and Co-Founder of Hubbub, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Network Rail on the introduction of these new cup recycling points. Cups can be easily recycled but, because they have a plastic lining that stops hot drinks from leaking, they need to be collected separately from other recycling. There is now plenty of capacity to recycle cups in the UK; what is needed is more infrastructure to collect the cups in high footfall places, so train stations are the ideal location. Our support for this initiative was made possible with funding from the Starbucks 5p cup charge, which Hubbub uses to make it easier and simpler for the public to recycle the cups they use, as well as promoting the use of reusable cups.”

It’s time to put “recycling’s most wanted” where they belong

A playful new campaign will help West London residents recycle more and better as Kensington and Chelsea Council teams up with Kensington-based innocent drinks and environmental charity Hubbub this Recycle Week (21-27th September 2020).

As people spend more time at home, we’re generating more waste than ever before, including an average of 128 pieces of plastic per household per week. This creates a particular problem in densely populated boroughs, such as Kensington and Chelsea. Over the last 3 years, K&C has achieved an overall increase in its recycling rate of just under 3% (2.9%). Now standing at 28.6%, this is ahead of most other boroughs with similar housing composition, but there is still room to do even better.

Polling shows that 1 in 3 Londoners find recycling information difficult to understand, with less than half (45%) saying they’re confident about what can be recycled and more than half (51%) agreeing that clearer information would encourage them to recycle more.

From this week, residents of the borough will see messages on posters, recycling bags and leaflets, digital displays and recycling trucks asking them to help catch “recycling’s most wanted”. These include items such as drinks cans, yogurt pots and bathroom plastics that belong in the recycling, but sometimes manage to escape.

Recycling can easily be spoiled by food and drink, meaning that even if items are put in the right bin, they are too dirty to be recycled. Residents are being urged to “wash their bits” to reduce pressure on the collection crew who often have to make decisions on whether items are fit for recycling.

Vaughan MacIntosh, Chargehand/Loader for the Council’s waste collector SUEZ, said:

“It’s great that the new campaign will help people know what they can put in their recycling and what should go in the rubbish. We work hard to recycle as much as possible, from pulling-up and separating recycling and waste bags at the kerbside, to spotting and removing items that can’t be recycled during collection and loading. We remove as many items as we can, when it’s safe and practical to do so, but it’s challenging. Sometimes the contamination is hidden, or it is wet and dirty, and spoils the rest of the clean recycling. It would be a great help if people separate their recycling at home correctly.”

Cllr Cem Kemahli, Lead Member for Environment at Kensington and Chelsea Council said:

“I hope residents connect with this fun campaign and it makes recycling at home simpler. Our waste collectors and sorters have made heroic efforts during the pandemic to provide an essential service that we couldn’t manage without. We can all make their jobs easier by recycling the most wanted items.
“Getting recycling right contributes to our ambition for a cleaner and greener Kensington and Chelsea with less waste, better air quality and a carbon neutral borough by 2040.”

Louise Stevens, Head of Circular Economy at innocent drinks, said:

“We’re thrilled to be a part of this campaign, and we feel this could be a breakthrough when it comes to recycling rates. We got a few of our talented writers and designers on the case and we’re looking forward to supporting our neighbours in their recycling efforts.”

Gavin Ellis, Co-Founder and Director of Hubbub said:

“Lockdown completely transformed the way we live and work, including our recycling habits and we know from our research that 43% 5 of people are more concerned about plastic pollution than before Covid-19. At a hugely challenging time for local authorities, supporting households to recycle better is more important than ever before. We know that many people want to recycle correctly but that they’re confused about what to do with their waste and we hope this campaign will make it easier for the people of Kensington and Chelsea to do the right thing.”

To find out more about the campaign and recycling guidance visit

Cross-party MPs call for Government intervention to fix fast fashion

Developing sustainable fabrics, boosting fabric recycling and bringing manufacturing jobs back to the UK are some of the key recommendations put forward to the Government today in a new report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion, supported by environmental charity Hubbub. The report sets out how the sector could follow a more sustainable route and the role that government and consumers might play. 

Covid-19 has significantly hit the fashion industry. Supply chains have broken, sales have dropped, unsold stock has built, retail outlets have closed and companies have gone out of business.  Consumer habits have shifted and so have attitudes – the public wants to see change. 

Before the virus struck, the environmental and social impact of the industry was increasingly under public scrutiny. Fast fashion resulted in £140 million worth of clothing being sent to landfill every year in the UK. Whilst charity shop donation rates are high, 300,000 tonnes of clothing still ends up in household bins every year with around 20% of this going to landfill and 80% incinerated (EAC, ‘Fixing Fashion’). The industry’s carbon dioxide emissions were expected to rise to nearly 2.8 billion tonnes by 2030 

The 2019 House of Commons Environment Audit Select Committee report ‘Fixing Fashion: clothing consumption and sustainability’, found that textile production accounted for 20-35% of microplastics in the oceans as well as toxicity in the land and particles in the air. The government rejected certain recommendations and felt that the rest were covered, to some degree, in the 2018 Resource and Waste Strategy published 2 months prior to the Fixing Fashion report. 

 New research released today by Hubbub shows 65% of UK residents agree that the Government should urgently do more to reduce the impact of the fashion industry on the environment.  

The APPG report calls for the following actions by Government:  

·       Investing in research and development to create more sustainable fabrics that have a lower environmental and social impact – backed by 66% of the public. 

·       Boosting investment in UK fabric recycling facilities to create a more circular economy – backed by 73% of the public. 

·       Supporting new start-up businesses operating more green business models – backed by 74% of the public. 

·       Investing in skills to bring more clothes manufacturing jobs back to the UK – backed by 72% of the public  

·       Supporting industry to create clearer information and labelling about the sustainability of clothes helping to educate consumers about their everyday choices and force companies to change their approach – backed by 64% of the public. 


Catherine West MP, chair of the APPG,  said:

“Coronavirus has exposed deep inequalities and unsustainability in the garment industry. Creating a sustainable and ethical future for the fashion industry is an important but complex challenge for government, industry and the public and what is clear is that there is an appetite for this on all sides. We must seize this moment and put these recommendations into action by pushing the government to be a global leader, helping to build a more sustainable and ethical fashion industry, both within the UK and globally”. 

The APPG report includes further recommendations for actions by the fashion industry and the survey found that consumers want to see change from industry. 65% agreed they’d be happy for fashion to ‘slow down”, ie less production of mass-produced cheap clothing in favour of good quality clothing that will last, and a third (33%) of 16-24 year olds feel constant pressure to buy new clothes. Three quarters (75%) of respondents agree that clothing companies have a responsibility to look after the people who make their products. 

The report also highlights that citizens have a crucial role in holding government and businesses to account in the post COVID-19 rebuild. 52% of those polled said they would be willing to spend a little more on clothes if they were guaranteed to be made ethically in the UK supporting British workers and 49% would be willing to spend a little more on clothes if they were guaranteed to be less impactful on the environment.  

Trewin Restorick, Founder and CEO of Hubbub, said:  

“Now is the time for government intervention to fix fast fashion and force companies to change their approach. We hope both the Government and the fashion industry will act with urgency on the recommendations of the APPG, which are backed by the UK public. As we’ve set out in our Greenprint, a more just and sustainable approach to how we dress, live, eat and travel is needed as we ‘build back better’, which builds greater long-term resilience. It’s important for all of us to play our part by making individual small changes and choosing where we spend our money.” 

Hubbub’s tips for individuals to slow their fashion consumption can be found at  

HRH The Prince of Wales opening the 100th Community Fridge

HRH The Prince of Wales opens community fridge at Dumfries House

HRH The Prince of Wales today opened the Community Fridge Network’s 100th fridge at Dumfries House to help bring together the local community of East Ayrshire to tackle food waste.

The Community Fridge Network, run by environmental charity Hubbub, supports community fridges across the UK to share good food from local businesses and individuals that would have otherwise gone to waste. Run by local volunteers, the fridges also provide a positive social space for local residents to learn more about food, sustainable eating, growing your own and eating on a budget.

Many of the fridges have provided a lifeline to communities during the Covid-19 pandemic, adapting their offering to support the most vulnerable and families hit particularly hard financially.

The Prince’s Foundation, whose headquarters is at Dumfries House, has set up the fridge to benefit local residents around the former mining communities of Auchinleck and Cumnock. Regular collections of surplus food from local retailers will be organised and food will also be donated from the estate’s Coach House Cafe, Kauffman Education Gardens and The Belling Hospitality Training Centre.

Thousands of school children visit Dumfries House estate every year to take part in hands-on food, farming and horticulture workshops run by The Prince’s Foundation which highlight the provenance of food and importance of sustainable practices. Those managing the community fridge plan to run similar sessions for local residents on how to grow your own fruit and veg, in addition to cooking workshops, and health and wellbeing sessions.

Food waste remains a huge issue in the UK, with £13 billion of edible food thrown away from our homes every year and a further £3 billion of food wasted by the hospitality and food service sector.

With the opening of the 100th community fridge, the network is redistributing an average of 975 tonnes of food surplus per year, the equivalent of approximately 1.9 million meals.

Julie McCluskie, manager of the Coach House Cafe at Dumfries House, will oversee the Dumfries House community fridge. She said: “Sustainability is at the heart of everything The Prince’s Foundation does so we are delighted to officially open the 100th community fridge in partnership with Hubbub. Supporting the local community has always been a huge part of the Dumfries House ethos and we hope that the opening of this fridge will not only be of benefit to local residents but that it will also strengthen our commitment to reducing food waste.”

The first community fridge was opened in 2016 in Derbyshire and the idea has been rolled out in communities across the UK. Unlike food banks, the fridges are available for anyone to use and have given residents an opportunity to try new foods, share recipes and even cook together.

Kanahaya Alam, Community Fridge Network Manager at Hubbub, said: “We’re thrilled that HRH The Prince of Wales has officially opened a Community Fridge on Dumfries House estate. We’ve seen these projects strengthen and enrich communities across the country in community centres, schools, universities and now a country estate. Community fridges are not only tackling food waste but are providing a crucial service at what is a really difficult time for many. We’d love to see more people volunteer for their local fridge, more retailers donate food and more businesses provide sponsorship.”

Neil Ritch, Scotland Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “It’s remarkable that thanks to National Lottery funding, the Community Fridge Network is providing almost 2 million meals a year from food that would have otherwise gone to waste, as well as bringing people together so they can learn more about making the most of the food we have. The pandemic has seen the Network supporting some of the most vulnerable people and families and National Lottery players can be proud that the money they have raised is funding this vital work in an exceptionally difficult time.”

The Community Fridge Network is supported by a grant from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, and the fridge at Dumfries House is one of over 80 kindly donated by fridge manufacturer Liebherr. Retailers redistributing their surplus food across the network include Co-op, Costa, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Riverford Organic, Sainsbury’s, Spar, Tesco and Waitrose, alongside local food businesses around the country.

This week Hubbub launched a Greenprint for a Better Britain – a manifesto of policies seeking to ensure that the UK makes a sustainable recovery from COVID-19. This includes asking the Government to support ‘Community Food Hubs’ in areas of high food insecurity to improve access to healthy food.

More information on The Community Fridge Network, including a map of fridge locations and advice for those interested in setting up a community fridge can be found at

Barnardo’s x @littlebigbell Virtual Homewares Pop Up

As lockdown increases Brits’ desire to zhuzh up homes, we need to talk about fast homewares.


On Average: 

  • Brits spend £7.9 billion on homewares annually
  • We’re buying at least 404 Million homeware items (an average of almost 8 items per year)
  • 14.5 Million Brits bin unwanted, unbroken homewares sending reusable homewares to landfill


Since Lockdown:

  • 25.6 Million Brits (48% of adults) changed the look of at least one room
  • Over a third (37%) agree the look of their home has become more important since lockdown
  • Nearly a third (32%), or 17.2 Million want to zhuzh up their home more than ever before
  • Nearly a quarter (24%) bought homewares during lockdown

1-8 August 2020, Barnardo’s Retail and interiors expert Geraldine Tan @littlebigbell open the Barnardo’s x @littlebigbell Virtual Homewares Pop Up. To showcase the treasures to be found at charity shops and raise much needed funds for Barnardo’s, whilst highlighting the problem of fast homewares.

Curated by the award winning @littlebigbell (donating her time and expertise for free) the online store will sell covetable homewares donated to Barnardo’s.   All items big and small will start at just 99p and be open to bidding for one week, after which items will be sent direct to the winning bidders.

Look out for on-trend pre-loved pieces from Le Creuset, Oliver Bonas and a gorgeous vintage jade green tea set.  Special thanks go to Bombay Duck LondonCatherine Rowe designsDoodle_Moo ,Eleanor BowmerGayle Mansfield DesignsHannah CarvelKitty McCallMoi_MiliNanas of Anarchy,Particular People ,Sugar Snap StudioThe Native State  and W.A Green who have all generously donated pieces.

Geraldine Tan @littlebigbell said: “I’m super excited about the collection of homewares we have put together with Barnardo’s; there are some gorgeous pieces. I get real joy from pre-loved shopping and it’s a charity and a cause I feel very strongly about”

Our homes have arguably never been so important. As charity shops re open Barnardo’s would like to encourage Brits to shop pre loved homewares as the sustainable, affordable option.

A nationally representative survey of over 2,000 UK adults commissioned by Barnardo’s in February 2020 before lockdown, found on average Brits spend a massive £7.9 Billion on homewares annually. Shockingly a further 27% bin unwanted, unbroken homewares which would mean 14.5 million items are ending up in landfill annually, if we assume they all only bin 1 item each per year. This needs to change.

A follow-up survey for Barnardo’s conducted since lockdown in June 2020, found over a third (37%) of Brits agree the look of their home has become more important to them since lockdown and nearly a third (32%) want to zhuzh up their home more than ever before.  In fact nearly a quarter (24%) bought homewares during lockdown to update rooms.

In the survey pre lockdown over a quarter (28%) of Brits claimed to completely change the look of a room at least once a year, and 23% completely change the look of a room at least once every 1-2 years. We asked the question again in June and a massive 48% (an estimated 25 Million) have changed the look of at least one room since lockdown began. That’s almost double the amount that would usually be expected over a longer period.

Other findings from the February survey include 20% of Brits (1 in 5) agreed that they judge a person by the look of their home and possibly with this in mind 20% of those who buy homeware do so to “zhush up a room before having people over.” And by far Brits’ favourite indulgence is cushions, with 38% of people having brought at least one cushion in the last year – that’s 20.6 million of us, and only 7% of these people bought cushions from a charity shop.

Javed Khan chief executive of Barnardo’s said: “Barnardo’s is grateful to Geraldine and all involved for their generous support. The coronavirus pandemic has hit vulnerable families the hardest, with many reaching crisis point. All funds raised will go to our work supporting vulnerable children across the UK, more important now than ever.”

Shop the Barnardo’s x @littlebigbell Pop Up from 9am 1 August to Midnight 8 August, Support the campaign by showing what you’ve found in your local Barnardo’s using the #MyBarnardosFind or #BarnardosHomewares on Social Media.

Helen Innes delivers food

E-asy riders deliver surplus food to vulnerable households in Milton Keynes

Helen Innes delivers food Environmental charity Hubbub launches the pilot of Food Connect today. The initiative will use fleets of electric bikes and vans to redistribute surplus food from retailers, helping to tackle increased food insecurity. Recent research from the charity found that nearly 1 in 5 people in the UK are concerned about access to free food during lockdown, such as that from food banks and community fridges.

Community fridges in Milton Keynes have been delivering food packs since the beginning of lockdown to those who are struggling to access food due to low incomes or travel restrictions, in partnership with FareShare, local NGOs and councils. The team has now been awarded a fleet of e-bikes and an electric van thanks to funding from CAF Venturesome and The National Lottery Community Fund, and Milton Keynes Council through the eCargo Bike Grant Fund3, funded by the Department for Transport and delivered by Energy Saving Trust. They will be used to distribute fresh food that would have otherwise gone to waste to vulnerable households across the town.

Using more environmentally-friendly transport to deliver the food supports the public’s desire to reduce air pollution. Research released recently by Hubbub found that 62% of Brits have noticed cleaner air as a result of lockdown and they would like to see this continue long-term. Electric vehicles were also found to be one of the most popular forms of transport for government investment.

Food Connect Volunteer Bike Rider Joe BulmanThe Wolverton Community Fridge in Milton Keynes was one of the first to open in the UK in 2017 and an original member of Hubbub’s Community Fridge Network of community fridges across the UK. Further fridges have opened since in Coffee Hall, Netherfield, Great Linford and West Bletchley. Whilst community fridges are open to everyone and have become hubs for sharing food education, skills, knowledge and goods, they have had to adapt to the challenges of Covid-19 and social-distancing. Many have now temporarily switched to new operations, including delivering surplus food to the doors of the most vulnerable households in their area.

Following the pilot, Hubbub’s ambition is to roll out Food Connect to other parts of country, connecting community fridges and local retailers. Businesses and organisations interested in supporting and collaborating in the next phase should visit

Kanahaya Alam, Community Fridge Network Manager at Hubbub said: “We know from our recent State of the Nation’s Plate report that a significant number of people are concerned about accessing free food during lockdown. Yet millions of pounds worth of food is wasted every year in the UK. Community fridges already play an important part in tackling this, and our ambition is that Food Connect will help retailers distribute surplus food straight to those who need it, whilst supporting the need for cleaner air.”

Helen Innes, Project Co-ordinator for Food Connect said: “We’re pleased to be part of this effort during the pandemic to reach some of our most vulnerable residents in Milton Keynes. Even before Covid-19, getting surplus food that final mile to the community fridge was a challenge, so this fleet will have a huge impact through lockdown and beyond as we begin to reopen to the wider community.”

Richard Kennell, CEO of education charity SOFEA, which operates FareShare South Midlands, said: “Demand for FareShare’s service has skyrocketed since the coronavirus outbreak, and we’re now working tirelessly to significantly increase the amount of food we deliver each week, ensuring surplus food gets to those who need it most. Our partnership with Hubbub, the Community Fridge Network and Milton Keynes Council therefore comes at a critical time as we work together through the crisis to fight hunger and food waste whilst minimising our environmental impact.”

Cllr Jenny Marklew, Cabinet Member for Sustainability at Milton Keynes Council said: “We are committed to new and innovative ways to contribute towards our ambition of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. E-cargo bikes are such a fantastic way to help us achieve this, meaning the council staff, social enterprises and local businesses are all able to play a part in reducing our impact on the environment.”

Holger Westphely, Acting Head of CAF Venturesome, said: “We have been supporting the growth of Hubbub with social investment for the past five years and are delighted that the previous loans have been fully repaid as a result of that growth and their success. So when they applied for a new social investment loan for Food Connect we were only too happy to support it. We are very impressed by their response to the Covid-19 crisis, developing an eco-friendly solution delivering vital supplies to vulnerable people, whilst reducing food waste. Hubbub continue to deliver projects with a high social impact and we look forward to working with them for many years.”

Tim Anderson, Head of Transport at Energy Saving Trust, said: “The Department for Transport eCargo Bike Grant Fund attracted a significant number of applications. The 18 local authorities who have successfully secured funding will purchase a total of 273 ecargo bikes and nine ecargo bike trailers, enabling more businesses to benefit from access. eCargo bikes are an attractive low carbon transport solution which offer important benefits, most impressively fuel cost savings and contributing to improved local air quality. Last mile delivery is an important area for consideration in our journey to reduce transport emissions to net zero by 2050.”

Borough Market Launches ‘Market Explorers’: Free Kid-Friendly Food Education Resource for Families

On 22nd June, London’s iconic Borough Market is launching ‘Market Explorers’, a free education resource aimed at connecting primary school children with the food they eat. With the curriculum in mind, children will be encouraged to look at how produce is grown or made, its history, preparation, cooking and how the ingredients are used in the dishes of different cultures.

Borough Market is a charitable trust and has a commitment to providing a market for public benefit and community. With school groups and children unable to currently explore, touch and taste food at the Market due to social distancing measures, the fun learning resources have been created to help parents to inspire their mini masterchefs at home during the Summer Term.

Six ‘Market Explorers’ units will be piloted initially, focusing on a different ingredient each time. The first two ingredients for children to explore are cauliflower and milk. Subsequent units and accompanying videos will be released on Mondays and Wednesdays for three weeks to support home schooling parents through to the school holidays. The free to download A5 booklets will have a range of engaging information and activities aimed at 5-8 year olds, and budding foodies can look forward to learning more about strawberries, bread, honey and tomatoes later in the month.

Parents are encouraged to sign up ahead of time to access the free educational materials, which will be available on Facebook Units, enabling social learning in a private group. Registration opens via at 9am on Monday 15th June. Parents can join and explore at the same time, enabling them to ask questions and build a collaborative community. In line with Borough Market’s commitment to sustainability, the resources will also cover topics such as seasonality and food waste.

The programme has been produced in collaboration with children’s cookery consultants Sally Brown & Kate Morris, who have created successful CBeebies cooking shows including ‘I Can Cook’ and ‘My World Kitchen’, as well as publishing four children’s cookery books. Sally and Kate have also worked extensively with teachers, local authorities and schools to devise and deliver training courses rooted in the current curriculum.

‘Market Explorers’ links to Borough Market’s existing work with London’s primary and secondary schools. To date over 20,000 children have learned valuable growing, cooking and selling skills through the Young Marketeers initiative – culminating in special biannual sales at the Market with profits going to food waste charity FareShare.

Kate Howell Director of Communications and Development at Borough Market, said: “Borough Market is all about sharing and connecting with others through the joy of food. We want to inspire the next generation of chefs, home cooks and food lovers. We know that not all children will be back at school in June, and so we thought that parents might like a helping hand with fun activities to get children interested in different ingredients – especially as so many have been cooking at home during lockdown. Our traders share a wealth of food expertise, with many of them being primary producers who grow, rear or create the food they sell. By teaching young people where their food has come from, how to grow it and what to make with it, we hope to inspire young people to take a more sustainable approach to their food choices in the future – perhaps we might see some of them join us as traders.”

Borough Market has a longstanding commitment to sustainability and reducing waste. None of the Market’s rubbish goes to landfill, with all cardboard, paper, plastic, glass and wood being recycled and the remaining food waste going to an anaerobic digestion plant to be turned into power, fertiliser and water. In 2017, Borough Market removed all plastic bottles and installed drinking fountains around the estate and in 2019 it became the first food market in the UK to replace plastic carrier bags with a fully biodegradable alternative, made from GM-free cornstarch.

Barley sustainability campaign nominated for two Global Good Awards

The Global Good Awards are a highlight of the awards calendar, and we were blown away to pick up Gold and Silver awards in the Campaign of the Year category last year for two campaigns with environmental charity Hubbub. So, we couldn’t be more thrilled to be nominated for two Global Good awards in 2020 with Barnardo’s.

Barnardo’s – Best Campaign of the Year Award | Environmental Behaviour Change Award

We’re finalists in the Best Campaign of the Year Award and the Environmental Behaviour Change Award with Barnardo’s for their Summer Fashion for Every Occasion campaign. The campaign’s objective was to change public  behaviour  around purchasing summer fashion items and drive more people to  Barnardo’s  stores  to buy second-hand items rather than new.

This campaign generated  £118,491  in additional sales at  Barnardo’s charity stores from 26,331 new customers  during the campaign period (8  July- 31st  August 2019) when compared with the same period in 2018,  helping to fund its work to transform the lives of vulnerable children across the UK. While retail outlets generally suffered slow sales last summer, Barnardo’s bucked this trend and continued to outperform the sector with clear year-on-year growth.

We’re also delighted for our fabulous clients, Borough Market and Hubbub, who have also been nominated for multiple awards.

Borough Market – Circular Economy Award | Community Partnerships Award

Borough Market are finalists in the Circular Economy category and finalists in the Community Partnerships category. Borough Market is the only fully independent market in London, they regularly run community events, free cookery demonstrations and they support local community projects and schemes.

Hubbub – Environmental Behaviour Change Award

Hubbub are finalists for the Environmental Behaviour Change Award for their Leeds By Example campaign. The effect of this campaign resulted in successfully recycled 1.2 million coffee cups, 140,000 good quality cans and 160,000 plastic bottles and increased number of people recycling in the City Centre from 17% to 49%.

Trewin Restorick – Individual Leader of the Year Award

Hubbub’s inspiring leader, Trewin Restorick, is also a finalist in the Individual Leader of the Year Award. From day one, Trewin has put his heart and soul into Hubbub, and under his leadership it has grown to a thriving organisation that has delivered more than 60 trailblazing environmental campaigns in partnership with over 700 partners.

Congratulations to all the finalists in the Global Good Awards.