Innovation That Matters

Retailer & Red Cross reward consumers for recycling clothes


Much the way UK retailer Marks & Spencer has been working with Oxfam to reward consumers for recycling their gently used clothes, so the New Zealand Red Cross recently launched a like-minded effort in partnership with clothing retailer Country Road. Typically, only a very small proportion of donated clothes are of high enough quality to be resold through the New Zealand Red Cross’s 38 stores, the relief organization says. Aiming in part to remedy that problem, the new “Fashion Trade” effort is designed to encourage donation of better clothing. So, as of July, New Zealand consumers who include at least one pre-loved Country Road item in a donation of clothing or accessories to a participating Red Cross shop will receive a NZD 10 voucher for use towards their next purchase of NZD 50 or more at Country Road stores. The donated clothing and accessories are sold by Red Cross shops to support the organization’s relief work, including its Breakfast in Schools program for school kids who would otherwise go without. Red Cross and Country Road in Australia also participate in the Fashion Trade program. With benefits for consumers, the organizations involved and the environment — since presumably fewer items of clothing will end up in landfills — the Fashion Trade effort promises the kind of win-win-win we all seek. Fashion retailers and nonprofits: when will *your* recycling effort launch…? (Related: Method’s mobile laundry truck facilitates clothing donationsRetailer recycles customers’ old sex toysIncentive-based recycling.) Spotted by: Paul Scoringe



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