EVERYONE loves a bargain.

Today’s so-called ‘throw away’ society thrives on fast fashion - but the tide may soon be turning as more become conscious of reducing our waste and recycling wherever we can - even when it comes to our clothes.

For those who support charity shops either buying items from or donating - or both - there are plenty of brand names to buy at bargain prices and still with plenty of wear left - you just have to have the patience to look.

For years charity shops have been the staple for those seeking a second-hand wardrobe - they sell homewares and some sell furniture too - but there other initiatives which are encouraging people to recycle their clothes - and the popularity is apparently growing.

Every three months the Kirkgate Centre in Shipley hosts a Clothes Swap. The venue is generally full to bursting with folk who are keen to recycle their clothes - while refreshing their wardrobe in the process.

Established over a year ago, the Clothes Swap is the brainchild of volunteer development coordinator, Vick Jenkins. Vick thought it would be the perfect accompaniment to the recycling projects they were already running within the Kirkgate Centre such as the Repair Cafe, where people can have their broken electrical items fixed, and the re-filling scheme where people can have their containers filled with products such as detergent - reducing packaging waste.

Vick believes the reason why the event has taken off as much as it has is because people are now more conscious of waste and are keen to recycle.

And what’s not to love about bagging a brand name bargain. Boden and The White Stuff are just some of the sought-after brands clothes swappers can come by.

“I think people do want less waste and everyone likes a bargain,” says Vick, adding that people can often find brand new items with labels too.

One of Lisa Dryden’s best bargain finds was a brand new Trespass fleece for her daughter.

“She absolutely adores it,” says Lisa, referring to her daughter’s response at her recycled top.

Lisa, from Baildon, became involved in the Kirkgate Centre Clothes Swap as a volunteer. For Lisa, her role is an extension of her passion for recycling.

“I have always supported charity shops because it is really important,” says Lisa, who isn’t keen on what she calls ‘throw away fashion.’

“I don’t like wasting money and I don’t like wasting resources and you can get fantastic clothes that people have given away that are brand new,” she explains.

Lisa is carrying on a family tradition. “It is something my mum passed on to me,” she says, referring to her love of recycling clothes.

She says the beauty of the clothes swap is someone else can benefit from the clothes you may have grown out of, become fed up with or no longer want to wear.

“The quality of stuff is amazing,” says Lisa.

And it seems clothes swapping appeals to all ages.... “We have some very young swappers who won’t leave until they have used up all their tickets. There is a vast array of different styles of clothing to suit a lot of tastes. Some people like skinny jeans and some people like flares - a lot of tastes are catered for,” adds Lisa.

Continuing the recycling ethic, any left over clothes are sent to the charity shop.

For Louise Horrell it was a Facebook post that tempted her to try the Kirkgate Centre clothes swapping event.

The 27-year-old’s foray into buying second hand clothes came shopping in charity shops with her mum. “I grew up going into charity shops so it was quite normal for me to carry on,” says Louise.

Since attending the Kirkgate Centre clothes swap Louise admits she was ‘hooked’ and has even helped on occasions.

For Louise, the clothes swap provided her with the opportunity to swap clothes she had slimmed out of - and save money in the process.

Her best bargain was a Marks & Spencer trench coat she had previously admired in an M&S store. It was brand new with tags.

Louise has also purchased Karrimor run wear and items from New Look but she admits she’s not bothered about brand names - she will swap on the basis of whether she likes the item of clothing.

She says she enjoys the clothes swap as it is more of a community event where people chat about the clothing and even share advice on what items work well together.

Her advice to anyone contemplating going to a clothes swap is to try it.”You have nothing to lose,” says Louise.

“If you go down and don’t see anything you can meet new people. You have a nice time out.”

Joanne Richardson has been to a few clothes swapping events and enjoys the Kirkgate Centre as it is local. She is also pleased with her pickings.

The 46-year-old from Bingley has brought home sports wear; dresses, shoes, t-shirts and a pretty polka dot bag so far.

“What is nice is there may be things I wouldn’t have bought in a shop but I’ve tried them on and worn different garments or different styles,” explains Joanne.

She says it has encouraged her to be more adventurous and creative in what she wears.

“I would say it’s a really good opportunity to clear out your wardrobe, get rid of some things and help to raise money for a good cause and give your wardrobe a new lease of life,” she adds.

* How it works:- People bring in wearable clothes in good condition which they want to swap. For every garment brought in to the Clothes Swap, tickets are given and these can be exchanged for another item of clothing.

* Insufficient tickets:- Don’t despair if you run out of tickets. Vick explains you can give a donation for other items.

The most unusual items they have had to swap are some 1970s long dresses.

* Need to know:- Entrance fee is £3 (concessions £1.50) and the next Clothes Swap takes place at the Kirkgate Centre, Shipley on May 11.

* Want to know more? Visit kirkgatecentre.org.uk.