Swap your old clothes for discounts on the high street
Saving the planet doesn’t have to cost the Earth. In fact, many fashion stores will now practically pay you to be ethical by offering discounts for clothes recycling.
Obviously, if your togs are in decent condition, you can sell them online to get more money, but if you just don’t have the time or your old clothes are too shabby to sell, you can take them to several high-street stores in return for a discount voucher.
H&M have been running a recycling scheme since 2013 and in 2020, they collected 18,800 tonnes of unwanted textiles. When you take a bag of clothes into a store, they give you a £5 off £25 voucher and conscious points, which can also be collected and turned into a discount. Wearable clothes are resold and those that are past their best are either turned into other items or shredded to make new textiles and insulation.
Marks & Spencer have teamed up with Oxfam to offer a similar reward. If you take a bag of clothes to Oxfam and it contains at least one item from M&S, you’ll receive a voucher that gives you £5 off £35 at Marks & Spencer. The donations are either resold or recycled, depending on their condition.
Monsoon offer a £10 voucher in return for any Monsoon clothes you bring back to the store. The items are sold or recycled, with profits going to Newlife, a charity that helps to change the lives of disabled and terminally ill children in the UK. The £10 voucher can be used when spending £50 or more.
New Look reward you with 15% off when you donate clothes to Hospice UK. All you need to do is take the clothing to your local hospice store, scan the QR code on their counter and fill out the form provided to claim your discount. However, the small print states Hospice UK will only accept clothes that are fit for resale, so unwearable garments can’t be donated for recycling.
Sweaty Betty have partnered with SOEX to recycle your old leggings in return for £10 off a £50 spend. SOEX are a global textile recycler who rehome and recycle leggings and they’ve stopped more than 10,000 pairs going to landfill since 2019. Items that can’t be reworn or reused become raw materials for the motor, building and textile industries.
Schuh run a Sell Your Soles scheme, which gives you a £5 voucher when you recycle an old pair of shoes in store. They also run a Too Big For Your Boots scheme, which gives you £5 off kids’ shoes when you return a pair your children have outgrown. The shoes are collected by Recyclatex, who say 98% of the shoes are sent to third-world countries to help poor families make a living and the 2% that are unwearable are recycled. All money raised goes to World Land Trust.