Fashion is a fast-turnover commodity, even more so when clothes are cheap and easily replaced.

These days, high street names are offering affordable fashion, conscious that consumers want to stay stylish despite the credit crunch.

When getting rid of clothes we’ve fallen out of love with, we should be aware that recycling is the way forward. And one of the ways we can recycle clothing is to swap it!

Former Sixties model Twiggy recently hosted a BBC2 programme, showing viewers how swapping and customising clothes can refresh your wardrobe.

The show, Twiggy’s Frock Exchange, saw 100 women donating their clothes in a huge garment-swapping extravaganza. Each of the women chose five items from their wardrobes to display in a huge purpose-built space where all the clothes cost nothing.

The fashion series featured a customising corner to accommodate various shapes and sizes as well as a team of hair and make-up artists to give the women a glamorous make-over.

Each week Twiggy was joined by presenter Lauren Laverne and Grazia magazine style director Paula Reed who helped the women towards a brand new look. Every episode featured a celebrity donating something from their own wardrobe. TV and radio presenter Fearne Cotton generously donated a Marc Jacobs dress. The show inspired women across the country to host their own frock-swapping parties – and one took place here in Bradford.

As corporate fundraiser for Bradford Cancer Support Centre, Hayley Collis is constantly seeking quirky fundraising ideas. Inspired by Twiggy’s TV programme, she decided to put on her own ‘Posh Frock and Accessory Swap’ party to raise funds for the charity.

“I thought it was a really good programme. I can’t even sew a button on.” says Hayley.

As well as raising funds for Bradford Cancer Support, Hayley says the event gave the 50 or so guests the opportunity to buy ‘pre-loved’ designer clothes for less cash. And it ticks the box for recycling clothes rather than throwing them away.

Boxes of brand new shoes, designer dresses by Frank Usher and Karen Millen, shoes from Russo in Saltaire and a French Connection dress donated by Isis Goddesswear, also in Saltaire, were among the donations auctioned on the night by Chris Gilliver.

Hayley drafted in a team of experts including image consultant Charlotte Meek, Lisa McDonough from Eden Boutiques in Bingley, and Sue Dewhirst from Sew Easy in Bradford who demonstrated how to customise clothes and gave tips. Vintage fan Caroline Brown, who met Hayley when she popped into Caroline’s Saltaire shop, The House of Rose & Brown, set up a stall for guests to browse around at the event, held at Bradford Cancer Support Centre.

“The link between vintage and dress swaps are quite natural because they are all about recycling,” says Caroline. She says people have clothing hanging in their closets for years and recycling is a good way of passing them on for someone else’s benefit, rather than throwing them away.

Special guest at the frock swap was radio presenter and Calendar weathergirl, Debbie Lindley.

“It was an honour to open the evening,” says Debbie. “Bradford Cancer Support provides a lifeline, not only to those who have been diagnosed with cancer, but for everyone who is touched by this horrible disease.”

Hayley, who is clearly delighted with the support she received for the frock swap, is now planning future fundraisers – a ‘learn-to-dance’ event based on Strictly Come Dancing – and the Big Brew, a week long event from March 23 supported by Taylor’s of Harrogate encouraging people to host tea parties in aid of Bradford Cancer Support.

For more information ring (01274) 776688.