Here at Clothes Aid, we are jump(er)ing for joy to support London Fire Brigade’s ‘Exercise Unified Response’, taking place between Monday 29 February – Thursday 3 March. The emergency scenario is the largest of its kind to take place in London, and over 2,000 volunteers will wear over ten tonnes of clothing contributed by Clothes Aid.
Although our normal practice is to export the donations we collect from households around the UK, we occasionally receive damaged items of clothing, which we are unable to use in our fundraising efforts. Rather than letting these damaged clothes go to waste, they are ideal for the realism of the emergency scenario taking place, and match with our efforts of diverting as much textile waste from landfill as possible.
Over 350,000 tonnes of clothing (WRAP – Loving our Clothes report, 2012) are discarded in the UK every year, and when London Fire Brigade asked us for donations of ripped or damaged clothing, we were more than happy to help out. We’ve been stockpiling the clothing that are needed for the scenario since Summer 2015 and we’re pleased that shredded suits, trashed t-shirts and destroyed dresses can be treated to one final hurrah!
London Fire Brigade’s ‘Exercise Unified Response’ has been a year in the planning and takes place across several locations including Littlebrook Power Station, near Dartford tunnel. All of London’s emergency response organisations including local and national authorities will be involved in the exercise, along with specialised teams from across the UK and from Hungary, Italy and Cyprus.
London Fire Brigade’s Assistant Commissioner, Peter Cowup, said: “London Fire Brigade is committed to recycling and reusing materials and has an excellent track record in recycling items including fire hoses, uniforms and furniture. We are delighted Clothes Aid have been able to help us continue to work in an environmentally friendly way by kindly donating clothes for more than 2,000 volunteers, who will be participating in what will be the biggest multi-agency exercise to have taken place in London.”
“The clothes provided will play a key part in ensuring this exercise delivers high levels of realism for participants and this, in turn, will assist them to practice the skills, procedures and strategies that are necessary to ensure an effective response to a major emergency“
Clothes Aid’s Business Manager, Michael Lomotey said: “Everyone at Clothes Aid is proud to be working with London Fire Brigade as part of the ‘Exercise Unified Response’ emergency scenario across London and at Littlebrook power station.”
“This is a fantastic opportunity to give unloved textiles another chance to shine, in an environment which could help save lives in the future.”