Where to recycle those tricky textiles
Every year, the Earth yields billions of tonnes of natural resources and at some point, in the not too distant future, it will run out. That’s why we must think again about what we throw away - seeing not waste, but opportunity.
Recycling is a key part of the circular economy, helping to protect our natural resources. This Global Recycling Day we want to highlight some of the many brands out there who are running recycling schemes, turning your old and unwearable textiles into innovative new products - putting these textiles back in circulation, avoiding landfill, and often rewarding you in the process.
Swimwear - Stay Wild Swim
Starting with yours truly. We accept worn down and broken swimwear, from any brand, which you would have otherwise thrown out. And we send them on to our recycling partner, to be recycled and repurposed into eco industrial products such as eco-carpet underlay.
+ DM us a picture of your receipt of postage on our Instagram, and we will give you a 10% of code to use on your next Stay Wild order as a little thank you
Tights - Swedish Stockings
Swedish Stockings take donations of old tights and turn them into fibreglass tanks and in 2020 they launched their tights to tables collection, where the tanks produced from old hosiery and recycled fibreglass are used in a furniture collection. Depending on size, each table contains between 80 and 350 pairs of tights that have been diverted from landfills.
+ Collect three or more pairs of synthetic pantyhose, send them to our mail-in facility along with your email address and they’ll send you a 10% discount code for their website.
If your bras still have some life left in them, UK based charity Against Breast Cancer has a bra recycling scheme which takes your unwanted or unloved bras and through their network of bra banks raises vital funds for pioneering breast cancer research. The bras donated also help support small businesses in Africa through their textile recovery project (giving these bras a new lease of life) in areas where they are too expensive to produce locally.
For those bras that have reached the end of their life, Bravissimo accepts bras in any condition for recycling at their UK shop stores. They are processed through SOEX’S recycling facilities where all the different types of materials and components are separated. Some materials are recycled for padding for insulation, reworked to make car seats and even the dust from these processes can be made into recycled cardboard.
+ For every kg of donated bras they receive, they make a donation to Coppafeel!
Socks - The London Sock Exchange
As a subscriber, you can refill your first box of socks with any old socks and send it back to them, free-of-charge. They then sort through the returned boxes and send off the unwearable socks to be shredded and resurrected into industrial textiles. Any socks that still have some life in them are washed and sent to charities and feet in need.
Trainers - Hylo Athletics
They are taking back any used pair of trainers, from any company, and recycling them.
+ As a reward they’ll treat you to a £10 off voucher for their website
And for all those other textiles around the home, Dunelm operate a textiles take back recycling scheme in a selection of their stores and accept all clean home textiles including duvets, pillows, bed linen, towels, curtains, cushion covers, cushion inners and bedding protection.
They will reuse as much as they can, ensuring that the items promote a circular economy and second life. All feather filled items will be turned into a new product, and where items cannot be reused, they’ll be recycled - nothing goes to landfill!