Department store chain John Lewis has launched ‘FashionCycle’, a circular economy textiles recycling scheme rewarding members for donating pre-loved clothing items.
Members of the retailer can bring five items of pre-loved clothing back to John Lewis stores to be resold or recycled, and they will receive £5 off a fashion or homeware purchase that day when they spend £20 or more.
John Lewis said it has launched FashionCycle because more than 300,000 tonnes of textiles end up in landfill each year. The retailer has committed to help reduce this number as part of its Partnership Plan.
That company plan involves creating a ‘buyback’ or ‘takeback’ solution for each of its product categories in the coming years.
John Lewis is working with The Salvation Army Trading Company (Satcol) to bring the scheme to life. Satcol’s sorting centre will separate the textiles into three graded types: A for onward selling in charity shops; B for selling to secondary markets; and C if the textile is end of life or not re-wearable.
Those items graded as C will go through a textiles sorting machine where different materials will be separated. These are then sold for onwards repurposing into various products, including pet bedding and carpet underlay.
John Lewis members looking to take advantage of FashionCycle must take their five pre-loved items into the retailer’s stores, choose a new product they would like to purchase, and show their membership card at the till to conduct the discounted transaction.
John Lewis will be placing FashionCycle bins across its store estate, where consumers can deposit their no-longer-needed items for recycling. The scheme accepts shirts, T-shirts, jumpers, cardigans, jackets, coats, shorts, trousers, jeans, childrenswear, dresses, jumpsuits, and skirts, but it does not take in underwear, lingerie, socks, tights, accessories, footwear, handbags, swimwear, baby vests, baby grows, towels, bedding or nightwear.
Satcol has established several retailer partnerships in recent months, including one with online fashion player Oh Polly and another with Beko electricals. The latter tie-up sees returned or refurbished home appliances in the Beko supply chain sold via the charity’s stores rather than going to landfill.
[Image credit: John Lewis Partnership]