Commercial property firm Landsec has announced that it is launching a recycling scheme for used clothes at Westgate, Oxford where customers will be able to donate items to a recycling point.
This scheme follows the calls from the Government to place a levy on fashion items. From this, it has mobilised an alternative plan which focuses on collaboration rather than a tax.
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If successful, the scheme will be rolled out across Landsec’s shopping destinations.
The trial scheme called ‘spring clean, think green’, will launch on 4 March and run for a month, and will be operated by I:Collect.
Landsec will be experimenting with various methods of encouraging shoppers to recycle their clothing, including weekly competitions.
The success of the scheme will be measured by the amount of people donating items, and the total weight of the clothes.
It is hoped that the stall will educate consumers on the importance of recycling textiles and will show examples of the type of garments donated that the materials could be turned into.
The firm aims to show that action can be taken to protect the environment, without putting the retail sector under more financial burden.
Landsec head of property retail portfolio Ailish Christian-West said: “Michael Gove is right to be concerned about the impact fast fashion has on the environment, but now is not the time to introduce a new levy in bricks and mortar retail. Both retailers and retail landlords undoubtedly have a role to play in reducing the amount of textiles which end up incinerated or sent to landfill.
“At Landsec, we believe that through innovation and collaboration, we can make a significant and positive impact without placing an additional financial strain on the retail industry. We will be measuring the impact we have and look forward to sharing our results with the minister.”
Landsec sustainability manager Tom Byrne said: “Clothing banks have existed for a number of years, but what we feel has been missing is a landlord-led initiative which can really drive up recycling rates in key retail destinations. Our kiosk will bring the experience of recycling to life for customers and we’re hopeful that a less passive waste strategy will translate into greater enthusiasm for recycling textiles.”
The scheme reflects Landsec’s belief that the UK retail industry is a force for good. It follows other campaigns from the company which have focused on collaborating with retailers to increase the use of reusable bottles through refill points, coffee cup recycling initiatives and solar panels on certain shopping destinations.