Clothes and bras
Although many of us take clothes we no longer wear to charity shops or jumble sales, there are other ways to recycle clothing. Marks & Spencer first teamed up with Oxfam in 2008 to launch their Schwopping initiative, making it easy for you to give your unwanted items a second life.
Nothing ends up in landfill. Clothes – taken into either a participating M&S or Oxfam shop – are sold in Oxfam shops, sold overseas or recycled. Around £20 million has been raised for Oxfam via this scheme in the past 10 years, which helps them to fight poverty.
Some of the donated clothes are sent to Senegal to Oxfam’s social enterprise, Frip Ethique. Many women earn a living there sorting out items, including bras, that can be sold to local market traders.
“We work together and laugh together,” Charlotte, one of the clothes sorters, says. “Working at Frip Ethique has changed my life.”
Lingerie retailer Bravissimo, found in cities such as Aberdeen, Leeds and Reading, also partakes in a bra recycling scheme. Donated bras that can be reused are sent to girls and women in developing countries across the world. Others are broken down and recycled into new items which are then sold.
Money raised by Bravissimo this year is being given to Mind, a charity that provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.