High street fashion retailer rolls out collection boxes for shoppers to ditch old clothes at all 190 of its UK stores
Primark has launched a nationwide recycling scheme to enable shoppers to recycle clothes of any brand at the fashion retailer's stores, in an effort to slow the flow of garments ending up in landfill every year.
Starting this week, shoppers can drop off their used clothes, textiles, footwear and bags at collection boxes installed at all 190 of the retailer's UK shops, it said yesterday.
The items will then be transformed into new clothes, as well as products such as insulation, toy stuffing and mattress fillers, according to Primark, which is working with recyclng specialist Yellow Octopus on the scheme and plans to donate all profits from the initiative to UNICEF.
The high street clothing and accessories retailer has frequently faced criticism in the past amid claims that its low-cost clothing helps fuel a throwaway fast-fashion culture which leads to thousands of tonnes of textile waste going to landfill waste as well as the exploitation of low-paid workers in the supply chain.
But retailer said its new recycling programme would allow its customers to "help the environment" by reducing the volume of waste going to landfill.
"We know people don't always find it easy to recycle their clothes, textiles and shoes," said Katharine Stewart, ethical trade and environmental sustainability director at Primark said. "Now is the perfect time to be launching our in-store recycling programme, making it convenient for customers to give a second life to items from their wardrobe that they no longer need."
WRAP estimates more than a third of the population had a clear out of unwanted textiles and clothing during lockdown, and in late June the waste charity urged people to consider in-store collections in order to prevent charity shops from being overwhelmed by donations.
WRAP director Peter Maddox described Primark's in-store recycling plan as "an effective, and often underused way to donate clothes".
"Primark is a signatory of the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan, and this new in-store recycling scheme for clothes gives people even more options, and will help make recycling clothes easier with drop off boxes in stores on high streets and retail hubs across the UK," he said.
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