As we reflect on another busy January, it’s clear that it is an important month in the fight against fashion waste. There were plenty of highlights, and some strides made which are having a real impact.
The conversation surrounding fashion waste is gaining momentum by the day, and it’s encouraging to see the increasing interest from the conscientious new fashion brands who joined us in January. We welcomed several exciting new additions to our portfolio, bringing the total number of brands we work with to well over a hundred. What’s particularly pleasing is their commitment to supporting charities with the revenue generated from the clearance of excess, customer returned, and jobber stock – something which we are always delighted to see, given the close working relationship we have with many of the UK’s best-loved brands and charities.
Some remarkable numbers were achieved last month; we processed over three million items of unwanted clothing and shoes, maintaining our industry-leading reuse percentage well into the 90s. Items that couldn’t be reused found new life as industrial wipers or were sent to become insulation. We’re thrilled to announce the addition of five new low-emission vehicles to our fleet, and the first steps were taken towards a seven figure investment, state-of-the-art, fashion waste ‘hub’, which is a testament to our commitment to addressing the challenges facing the fashion industry.
Two of our company directors carried out a more sombre due diligence trip to the Middle East, which served as a very real reminder of the challenges facing our partners in that region. Despite the ongoing uncertainty resulting from the conflict, and subsequent hike in shipping costs and lead times, our commitment to standing by ethical recyclers who share our commitment to sustainability remains unwavering.
It was great to see our digital door-to-door service show signs of its potential; by having one of its busiest months yet, with over ten tons of textiles collected directly from people’s doorsteps. This innovative approach not only enhances convenience for our customers; it also gives them the choice of which charity they wish to support with their donation. During this period, we saw an increase in donations for homeless and food distribution charities, likely due to the festive season and the cold weather.
January was a month of significant achievements and milestones for our team. As we continue to navigate the challenges of the fashion industry, we remain committed to sustainability and innovation, focusing on end of line, clearance and jobber stock. Together with our brand, charity and retail partners, we’re making a real difference in the fight against fashion waste.
Textile Recycling Association (Executive Committee)