A recession-related drain on charity shops has inspired a local charity to invent a new way to get hold of stock - a clothes swapping party at the Rose Theatre.

The Swapping for Good event on Wednesday, February 25, involved 200 fashion fans, who received style tips from TV presenter Nicky Hambleton-Jones and Kingston University fashion students.

Leatherhead-based disability charity the Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation came up with the idea after the amount of clothing donations dropped by 30 per cent over the past 18 months.

The tendency to hoard clothing during the recession, as well as more people cutting costs, has led to more custom but less to sell in charity shops.

Simon Dillsworth, head of business development said: “Charities are no different than commercial companies in terms of needing to find creative solutions to commercial problems and we have to find a way of stocking our 13 shops across Surrey with good quality clothing.”

Every guest was asked to bring four items, three of which were swapped with other guests, with the remaining item donated to the shops, including those in Chessington, Tolworth, East Molesey and Epsom.