Leading article: Frugal chic

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How comforting to discover that in this sophisticated age of iPads, eBay and Twitter there are still people out there who are happy to rummage through the unwanted contents of someone else's wardrobe. Two enterprising women, Alice Watson and Rachel Bevis, have been organising jumble sales around London. And demand for stalls is so high that they've had to introduce a rotation system. "Hipster jumble sales" are apparently the latest trend. And just like in the old days, they've become part of a fun day out. The difference is that today's jumble sales, rather than being accompanied by morris dancing and stalls selling jam tarts, include massage booths and DJs. Traditional values in a modern setting, one might say.

But we can think of some other old frugal practices that might usefully make a 21st-century comeback. Instead of swapping clothes, how about repairing them? When was the last time anyone darned a sock in this country? After all, we keep being told that we need to develop a new economy based on skills. And old clothes aren't the only items that clutter our homes. What about those defunct mobile phones, unwanted bread-makers, unused foot spas and all the other junk that crowds our cupboards? We say: bring back the rag-and-bone man.

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