Sustainable fashion and thrifted style take to the spotlight as we chat to the founder of Clothes Cycle Markets, Poppy Collingwood-Cameron, ahead of her upcoming event in Newcastle later this month.

What inspired you to create this nationwide thrifting event?

I started selling on Depop when I was 13 and have always been really into second-hand shopping, not only because of the financial and sustainable incentives, but because of the uniqueness of items you can find.

I became frustrated by items turning up from eBay or Depop and not fitting me or looking like the images. But I also found in-person thrifting events overwhelming, with low-quality stock presented unappealingly (items creased, sometimes dumped in large piles or not smelling great). This made thrifting a tiring, unenjoyable and often unsuccessful experience in person.

When it came to my birthday or an event I needed an outfit for, I often found myself resorting to high street shops for convenience. This made me want to create a space where thrifting was fun, enticing and not off-putting, particularly to those who were not ‘die-hard thrifters’ and to help encourage people to shop sustainably.

And so, Clothes Cycle was born out of a desire to solve all the issues that traditionally came with thrifting, which put people off buying second-hand clothes.

How do you curate the vendors and items featured at Clothes Cycle?

We have developed a community of sellers that regularly work with us at Clothes Cycle events around the country, from Bristol to Edinburgh and everywhere in between!

We also ensure we feature sellers who are local to each event, selected through an application process. The only eligibility requirement is that you contribute to curricular or slow fashion. This is everything from vintage sellers to small business owners and those who simply have lots of old clothes they want to sell.

We always create a lineup that provides something for everyone and every gender, trying to balance out the styles of our sellers and ensuring we have enough offerings for each demographic.

Clothes Cycle market

What makes Clothes Cycle the ultimate pop up thrifting experience?

Firstly, the size of our events. Each event hosts between 60-120 sellers, and in Newcastle we will have over 80.

Our events are spread across 20,000 square foot venues and we are the UK’s largest thrift market. This means the range of items is huge and we really do have something for everyone and every budget.

However, it’s not like a kilo sale where you have to sift through piles and rails of often low-quality items or clothes that don’t match your style. Because our events are made up of lots of individual sellers (the majority of whom are small vintage brands), each one takes pride in curating their stock to fit their style and aesthetic. This essentially means that we offer hundreds of rails of high-quality clothing, pre-sorted by style and already quality-controlled by our vendors who take pride in their brand and the items they present to customers.

This doesn’t mean that bargains can’t be found – all our sellers come with sale rails and bargain boxes and often offer Clothes Cycle discounts and giveaways.

And to enable them to shift lots of stock in one day, our vendors are usually willing to sell items at much lower prices.

Plus, our preloved wardrobe sellers (people who don’t have a brand, but just want to sell their old clothes) always provide bargains, selling items as low as £1-£5.

The size of our events, paired with the mixture of pre-curated vintage, handmade items and preloved wardrobes makes our events really unique.

We also want to provide a full day out for our visitors. This is why all our events also feature street food vendors, a bar, DJs and so many fun activities like a clothes swap, tarot readings, art classes, beauty treatments and so much more.

Attendees stay for hours or all day and enjoy the whole vibe of the event!

What are some common misconceptions about thrifting?

That it’s hard work, items are dirty or poor quality and that it is difficult or inconvenient to curate your wardrobe around thrifted items.

While this can be the case, the world of thrifting is changing. It is becoming more mainstream and with that comes huge improvements in the whole experience.

Thrifting actually provides you with the best opportunity to purchase high-quality items that will last, as it means you can afford designer items or more expensive brands that are much higher quality than you could otherwise afford by shopping first-hand. You just need to know where to look!

Clothes Cycle

How do you see the thrifting community evolving in the future?

Thirfting has already evolved so much since I got into it back in 2014.

The offerings have expanded greatly and second-hand shopping has become easily accessible. New selling platforms are constantly popping up, and the stigma around buying second-hand has begun to evaporate.

The UK has come on leaps and bounds in second-hand shopping, but having visited other European countries, the stigma still definitely remains in some communities. 

I think it is only a matter of time until second-hand shopping becomes something to be proud of worldwide.

New ways of thrifting are constantly developing that solve issues associated with buying second-hand. For example, many vintage sellers now sell via live streams, which gives customers a real look at the items they are purchasing and helps to avoid disappointment.

I only see the thrifting community expanding and becoming more innovative and exciting. Big fast fashion brands are even promoting thrifting, with the likes of Primark opening thrifting sections in their stores!

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start thrifting but doesn't know where to begin?

Come to a Clothes Cycle event! Asides from that, visiting your local charity shops is such a great way to get into thrifting. If you constantly pop in when you have a spare moment, you are bound to find something you like… and catch the thrifting bug!

What can shoppers expect from your event in Newcastle?

Over 80 sellers, a makers corner for local artists, DJs providing music all day, street food, ice cream, coffee, a clothes swap (attendees can bring along a bag of their old clothes to swap), tarot, hail art and tooth gems.

Clothes Cycle Market takes place at Vertu Motors Arena in Newcastle on Sunday 28th April, 11am to 5pm. For more information and to buy tickets, visit