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7 companies that make clothes recycling easier than ever before

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Maybe Santa brought you a shiny new pair of jeans to replace the slightly dog-eared ones you'd been wearing for years, or maybe a well-meaning aunt gifted you a jumper you'll simply never wear.  Whatever the reason, Christmas is a time when clothing consumption is at an all-time high and, coming up to the new year, it's all about discarding the old to make room for the new.  Here are some of the ways you can make sure your unwanted clothes don't end up in landfill:

Image credit: Pixabay

1. ZARA

In various stores across the country (be sure to double check your local one is included in the scheme here) ZARA has collection boxes where you can drop off your old clothes, which will then donate to various charities such as the Red Cross.

2. Levi's

At Levi's, customers can donate clothing or shoes of any brand - as long as they're clean and dry - in store, and in return they will receive a voucher treating them to a 10% on Levi's products.

Image credit: Pixabay

3. M&S

M&S runs a clothing exchange with Oxfam. In exchange for any donation made to Oxfam that includes an M&S-labelled item of clothing (including bras but excluding swimwear, underwear, socks, or damaged products), you will receive a voucher worth £5 that can be used when you next spend £35 on clothing, home, or beauty products in various stores.

4. H&M

H&M was actually the pioneer in clothing take-back schemes, and now has garment collection boxes in all stores around the world.  It's so simple: just donate your bag of unwanted textiles (from any brand and in any condition) to the drop-off point in store, and in return you'll receive a voucher. The donated items will then be sorted to either be sold as secondhand clothes, made into other products, or turned into textile fibres.

Image credit: Pixabay

5. Monki

At Monki, simply bring a bag of textiles of any brand, in any condition, and of any material (but not shoes!) to a member of staff at the checkout and they'll reward you with a 10% off voucher that's valid for six months.

6. & Other Stories

Like Monki, & Other Stories will reward you with a 10% off voucher valid for three months to thank you for donating any textiles in store, which their recycling partner will then take and turn into their next best use. This includes "insulation material for the construction materials industry, geofleece, carpet underlay, and rear shelves in cars, stuffed toys, shoe insoles, among many, many other things".

Image credit: Pixabay

7. reGAIN

For the more digitally-minded of our readers, reGAIN is essentially a clothes recycling app.  Rather than being specific to one brand, many of our most popular high-street retailers have partnered with reGAIN to offer you a more sustainable solution to textile disposal.  Once you've downloaded the app, you can send your unwanted clothes, shoes and accessories to reGAIN (for free!) from one of thousands of drop-off points around the UK.  To say thank you, you will receive a coupon code to use at participating retailers which include Celtic and Co, Asics, New Balance, Boohoo, Pretty Little Thing, and Missguided.

And last but by no means least, there are of course charity shops all over the country that appreciate your good quality, wearable donations.  

We hope that now we've shown you how easy it is to recycle your old clothes you'll think twice before simply popping them in the bin; no matter whereabouts you are, there's a collection box somewhere just waiting for your donations.  

For more insight into how our fave clothing brands are improving their sustainability, check out our summary of the Environmental Audit Committee's inquiry into fast fashion here

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