The former Miss Newcastle who is opening a thrift market selling pre-loved clothes

Working as a model and photographer, Alisha Cowie clearly knows a thing or two about fashion but the enterprising 24-year-old has designs upon making a difference to how we shop.

Alisha - who is a former Miss Newcastle, a title she won in 2017 followed by Miss England the next year - has teamed up with her friend Nieve Jones, herself a fashion graduate, to launch the first Love Me Again thrift market which is all about encouraging people, especially the young, to buy second-hand 'pre-loved' clothing and accessories instead of new. Their first event will take place in Newcastle on August 25 and the hope is that it will be just the start of their sustainable fashion journey.

They are currently just dipping their toe in the water, says Alisha, but if this market proves a success then they could hold more events, perhaps quarterly or every six months. "That's something we'd really like to do on a more regular basis," she says.

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And Love Me Again, set to take place inside Tapyard Studios in Hoults Yard, Byker, will be helping out a good cause too, by raising funds for Project Peru which supports needy communities overseas with building work.

Alisha, who is from Durham but lives in Northumberland, also co-runs a company called Alisha Joe Photography but 70% of her work is modelling. While she well knows from the transient nature of the fashion world all about its often disposable, throwaway fashion, she herself works with fashion brands which are trying to be as sustainable as possible.

A company at the other end of the scale "wouldn't really sit with my morals; it's not somewhere I'd want to go," she says. She and Nieve, who is also 24 and lives in Newcastle where she graduated in fashion communication at Northumbria University, bonded over their love of charity shops and sustainable fashion and their passion gave rise to Love Me Again.

"We came up with the idea of a thrift market," says Alisha, describing their plan as being a "boujee car boot sale" where those selling via the likes of Depop and Vinted can come together under one roof. There's an opportunity to sign up now to take part in the debut event and sell any unwanted clothes.

Everyone has something left unworn in the back of their wardrobe, points out Alisha, and this is a chance for them to make a bit of extra money. It's also an ideal chance for buyers to explore what is available and she is hoping that the fact she and Nieve are young will help inspire the younger generation to choose sustainable fashion too, helping to reduce waste and support a 'circular economy'.

She is under no illusions that many people simply might not have the budget to support their inclination to make better choices, saying: "I know how expensive it can be to make sustainable clothing and it's not accessible to lots of people, especially in a cost of living crisis." Charity shops can be "the luck of the draw" and while the likes of Vinted can offer great products, with buyers able to search for what they want, "you can't send something back if they doesn't fit," she says.

A thrift market, however, could be the perfect options as "in person you can size things; you can feel the material and see if it stretches". The pair intend to offer a wide range of items, with care taken to "ensure quality and style".

And those attending will not be just helping to make a positive impact upon the environment but also contributing to a meaningful cause, she says, as 25% of profits will go to Project Peru.

Alisha is a great supporter of this project at her old school: St John's in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, which she attended before going on to study crime and investigation at Teesside University. It fund-raises to help send pupils overseas to help with work in providing vital facilities and it costs around £2,650 to enable one person to have that life chance, she says.

It's an opportunity that she was not able to have when she herself was at school but her modelling work, which has taken her across the UK and Europe, has since also opened up opportunities to travel to the likes of India and Nepal; experiences which proved an eye-opener. "That changed my life and perspective," she says and has given her a proper appreciation of "how lucky we are".

She adds of their upcoming market: "We believe that this event represents a perfect blend of fashion, sustainability and philanthropy." It will run on August 25 from 10am until 3pm.

Sellers wanting to sign up, for a £10 fee, can fill in the form here. Spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. On the day, buyers will pay a £3 entry fee, 25% of which will be donated to St John’s Project Peru.