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The British Heart Foundation launches ‘The Big Stitch’

During the Covid-19 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, launching on 1st October for one month, The Big Stitch will encourage shoppers to pop to their nearest charity shop, buy an item and use their skills and creativity to give it a new look.

With 550 clothes shops nationwide, BHF shops are full of amazing pre-loved finds that can easily be adapted to personal style. From fraying and tasseling 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 the BHF and using #TheBigStitch hashtag will be entered into a competition to win a prize. All tagged images will also be showcased on the charity's photo wall on its website.

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

Stats released by the charity 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 10 (40 per cent) agree that being sustainable and thinking about the environment when they shop is more important than before.

Last year alone, thanks to shop donations, the BHF helped reuse an incredible 71,000 tonnes of items andprevented 135,000 tonnesof carbon dioxide emissions from being released into the atmosphere.

The British Heart Foundation launches ‘The Big Stitch’: Image 2 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 reopen 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."

Shoppers keen to begin their Big Stitch project can pop into their local BHF shop or head to the eBay shop to find items. The Big Stitch competition will run from 1st October until 31st October 2020. By using the hashtag #TheBigStitch and tagging the BHF on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook participants will be automatically entered into the competition*. A winner will be selected and announced in November.

For more information and to find your nearest BHF shop, visit www.bhf.org.uk/TheBigStitch