WRAP guide aims to increase clothes recycling post-lockdown

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) is set to target in-store take-back schemes for clothes with its Retailer clothing take back guide.

With the vast majority of consumers unaware of this method of recycling clothes, WRAP predicts charity shops will see a large influx of donations when Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

Clothing in a shopThis will be an opportune moment for retailers to encourage customers to recycle their unwanted clothing in-store using WRAP’s take-back guide.

The guide explains the different types of take-back scheme, including commercial and charity partnerships, own take-back and online re-use applications, and advises retailers on choosing and implementing the most appropriate take-back scheme for them.

It also sets out rules for good practice when delivering the scheme, including managing external communications and operational considerations.

Three main factors contributing to take-back scheme participation are highlighted as: convenience and relevance; awareness and trust; and incentives, with WRAP encouraging retailers to share with customers how the donated textiles are processed after collection.

Dr David Moon, Head of Business Collaboration at WRAP, said: “This guide will help businesses implement successful take back schemes that allow their customers to easily donate unwanted clothing.

“Last summer, post-lockdown, over half of the people we surveyed had a clear out of clothing.

“We know that citizens would much rather recycle, donate, or re-sell their unwanted items, so take back schemes are going to be imperative to people being able to donate promptly once the shops reopen.”

The guide forms part of WRAP’s Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) 2020, which is set to be renewed under the new name of Textiles 2030. Textiles 2030 will aim to reduce carbon emissions from the UK textiles industry by 40-50 per cent by that year.

David Moon added: “Textiles 2030 is going to continue to expand on the huge success of SCAP 2020. We had half of UK clothing sales involved in that journey, but this time we want everyone to be a part of this campaign for collaborative climate action.”