I am a gent with limited wardrobe space. When I buy a new item of clothing, that's usually the cue to find an old shirt, t-shirt or pair of trews and consign them to the nearest recycling bin. One in, one out. Why hang onto clothes you don't wear anymore?
But there needs to be an easier way to recycle clothing. Billions of pounds worth of textiles are simply binned every year in the UK alone. I'm lucky in that my nearest charity hopper is a walkable distance from my front door. For many, that simply isn't an option, or they just don't think about it. A clearout happens once a year, and perfectly good items that could be donated to charity or broken down for re-sourcing go straight into the bin.
Swedish fashion label Uniforms For The Dedicated have come up with a smart idea that makes recycling an easy, straightforward process. Their carrier bags flip inside out to become a sturdy, pre-paid mailer into which you can place an unwanted item of clothing. Seal it up, stick it in the post, and hey presto, you've donated to charity. The bag and the old item suddenly have a second life, an uptick in value.
DDB Sweden, who came up with the idea, believe it has real potential. A spokesperson for the agency said:
"We consume too much. With this in mind, we wanted to find a way to convert every purchase into something that would do good in the world. We wanted to influence brands and consumers, and help them take a practical stand for sustainable fashion, recycling and social responsibility."This idea has legs, I think. Imagine a major high street brand (particularly one with a decent ethical profile, like M&S) taking on this idea. Getting people to change their habits is a complex job, but offer them a simple solution and they will embrace that change whole-heartedly. I'd love to see mailer bags become the norm, and for more of us to keep their wardrobes clear of clutter by donating the orpans at the back of the stack.