Primark is rolling out a recycling programme across the U.K., inviting customers to donate clothes, textiles, footwear and bags from any brand to be reused, recycled or repurposed, with nothing going to landfills.
Through the Primark In-Store Recycling Scheme, collection boxes will be available in 190 of the fast-fashion retailer’s stores throughout the U.K. Profits from the scheme will go to Unicef, the retailer’s global charity partner, in support of its education programmes for vulnerable children around the world.
Primark has partnered with Yellow Octopus to implement the recycling scheme. Yellow Octopus is a recycling specialist which has a ”no landfill” policy across the 21 countries in which it operates. The company aims for as many donations as possible to be worn again, with the remainder being repurposed into new products such as insulation, toy stuffing and mattress fillers.
A research report released on June 24 by the British charity Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) estimates that 41 percent UK citizens have had a clear out of unwanted textiles and clothing during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The most common textile items the public sorted out during lockdown were clothes (37 percent) with outerwear making up the bulk – particularly tee-shirts, blouses, jumpers, hoodies and sweaters. People have also spent time sorting through their unwanted shoes (19 percent), bedding (12 percent), bags and handbags (10 percent), accessories (10 percent) and household textiles (10 percent). WRAP estimates that as many as 22 million pairs of shoes, and 67 million clothing items could be disposed of via charity shops, collection banks and other donation routes with the lifting of the coronavirus-lockdown.