Economy

Clothes too old for the op-shop? Recycle them

SmartCompany /

There is a long tradition of recycling clothes by donating and buying from op-shops, but what do you do if clothes are too old or decrepit to pass on?

According to Springwise, several retailers overseas are stepping into the breach by providing a clothing recycling service.

In Japan, the Uniglo fashion chain holds collection periods in March and September during which people can bring in any old clothes they bought from the store. Any newish gear is passed on to charitable organisations, while old gear is sent for recycling into fibre that can then be used to make other garments. So far Uniglo has recycled more than 800,000 items.

In Britain, department store chain Marks & Spencer has joined forces with Oxfam to kick off a recycling effort as part of its Plan A (plana.marksandspencer.com/index.php?action=PublicAboutDisplay) environmental strategy. Consumers who bring in a bag of clothes for recycling – provided it includes at least one M&S item – get a £5 voucher for the store to use on, well, buying more clothes.

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