Thursday, 15 April 2021

Lottie the litter-picker tries selling second-hand fashion

Lottie the litter-picker tries selling second-hand fashion

A GIRL has combined her passions for the environment and fashion by starting a website.

Lottie Cotton, 10, of Westfield Crescent, Shiplake, is selling second-hand clothes and handmade jewellery as well as writing a blog to encourage people to live more sustainably.

She became interested in the environment three years ago after going on a walk in Harpsden Woods with her family, parents Neill and Clare and brother Harry, six, and was appalled at how much litter they saw.

She insisted that the family went back home to get bags and return immediately to collect the rubbish.

Since then she has carried out regular litter-picks around Shiplake.

Lottie said: “After seeing the rubbish in the woods, I noticed how much plastic we use as a family and then I learned about how much was going to landfill.

“I go on walks around the village and I collect one to two bags per walk. I’ve only met three other people from outside my family who also do it.”

She launched her website last month and sells donated clothes which are washed and steamed before being offered for sale.

Most of the items are for children and teenagers but she hopes to offer adult clothing as well.

“She has clothes from a number of top brands, including Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren, with prices ranging from £2.50 to £25.

Lottie said: “I love the environment and fashion and I knew lots of clothing was going into landfill and I wanted to help prevent that.

“Everyone likes to look nice and a lot of people like particular brands but I think that’s the wrong idea. We should re-use and recycle where we can.

“I want it to be like a modern day charity shop where people send in their clothes that they don’t need any more and then I sell them.” Lottie, who attends Abbey Junior School in Reading, started writing her blog after watching David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet in a humanities class.

She is helped by her father, who runs his own business, Colour Wovens, which sells ties, scarves, shirts and accessories.

Mr Cotton, 46, said: “We tend to work on it for an hour every evening. The clothes are coming from charity shops and recyclers to make sure they are not just shredded.

“Lottie has done 95 per cent of it herself. I’m very impressed by her energy and hard work and her passion for these causes.

“We’ve always been reasonably good — like most families, we separate our waste and we’ve always tried to do our little bit.

“Over the last year or so, since Lottie has become a lot more passionate about the environment, she has been teaching us much more than the other way around. We are very proud of her.”

He recalled the family walk in the woods, saying that Lottie was “furious” at the rubbish they saw. “She made us go home, get our gardening gloves and black bags and go back to pick it all up,” said Mr Cotton.

“From then on, the rest of the family has been rushing to keep up with her.”

Lottie has learned how to make her own earrings and necklaces to sell. She also makes ecobricks, which are plastic bottles filled with single-use plastic to help reduce the amount going to landfill.

She has also been buying eco-friendly treats for her dog, Sootie, a one-year-old cockapoo.

In her blog, she has written about eco-friendly shopping and looking after birds by putting nesting boxes in trees.

She intends to give a third of the money she earns to the World Wide Fund for Nature, a third to herself and a third to the people who donate clothes.

For more information, visit

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