The Big Stitch is back and challenging the nation to get crafty

During lockdown, many members of the public have been busy picking up new crafty hobbies, from upcycling furniture to giving a well-loved T-shirt an overhaul. Now, having launched on 1st October for one month, The Big Stitch is encouraging shoppers to pop to their nearest British Heart Foundation (BHF) charity shop, buy an item and use their skills and creativity to give it a new look.

With 540 clothes shops nationwide, our shops are full of amazing preloved finds that can easily be adapted to suit personal style. From fraying and tasselling to adding decorative items, simple basic sewing skills can add a touch of fashion flair and create one-of-a-kind items. 

Every look shared on Instagram or Twitter with a ‘before’ and ‘after’ image, tagging us and using #TheBigStitch hashtag will be entered into a competition to win a prize. All tagged images will also be showcased on our photo wall on our website.

From dresses to skirts and jeans to jumpers, our shops provide a wide range of quality clothing at affordable prices, which help fund our life saving research.

Stats released by us showed that almost a third (29 per cent) of consumers now feel that charity shops are more important to society than ever, while four in ten (40 per cent) agree that being sustainable and thinking about the environment when they shop is more important than before.

As part of the campaign, we have teamed up with the UK’s largest arts and crafts retailer, Hobbycraft to offer the perfect prizes for those taking part. The winner will be presented with a £100 gift card to spend at Hobbycraft stores, along with a hamper filled with £100 worth of arts and crafts essentials. Runners up will be awarded Hobbycraft gift cards worth £50 and £25.

Last year alone, thanks to the public’s generous shop donations, we helped reuse an incredible 71,000 tonnes of items and prevented 135,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions from being released into the atmosphere.

Allison Swaine-Hughes, Retail Director at the BHF, said: “We love seeing the creativity of our customers, who never fail to impress us with the new looks they give to items they find in our shops. As well as being a fun way to get crafty, the Big Stitch helps us prevent waste and raise much needed funds for our vital heart research.

“This year has been devastating to the British Heart Foundation’s income and led to a possible £50 million cut in our research budget. As our shops reopened over summer with new safety measures in place, we’ve been delighted to welcome customers back and help provide high quality items at affordable prices. Every pound raised in our shops helps us to support the 7.4 million people in the UK living with heart and circulatory diseases, who need our support now more than ever.”

Katherine Paterson, Customer Director at Hobbycraft, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting the British Heart Foundation’s ‘The Big Stitch’ campaign this year. We saw the nation embrace crafting and creativity during lockdown, and ‘The Big Stitch’ campaign is the perfect opportunity to put these new found skills to use and create something new from something old. 

In recent years we’ve seen a real increase in our customers becoming more environmentally conscious and embracing the ‘make do and mend’ movement. Whether it’s fashion or homeware, adding a touch of colour, personalising or completely transforming an item to give it a new lease of life, we can really see our customers getting involved with this campaign and we’re excited to see what the nation creates from their pre-loved finds.”

Shoppers keen to begin their Big Stitch project can pop into their local BHF shop or head to the eBay shop to find items now. The Big Stitch competition will run from 1st October until 31st October 2020.

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