IF you’ve had a clear out of old clothes and shoes during lockdown you might be able to make some cash – and help the environment – by recycling them.
Major retailers, including the likes of Adidas and Boohoo, either run their own schemes or have partnered with charities and other initiatives to help shoppers swap unwanted items for discounts, gift vouchers, and more.
The idea is to prevent unwanted clothes from going into landfill by instead repairing and reselling them, or turning them into something else.
It comes as TV presenters Helen Skelton and Sabrina Grant revealed to a family in Channel 4’s Supershoppers this week that they could save by swapping old clothes and shoes for money off vouchers.
But the pair pointed out to check retailers’ terms and conditions carefully, as many include minimum spends.
You should also compare prices using comparison tools, such as Google Shopping and Price Spy, to ensure you can’t buy the item you’re after cheaper elsewhere.
Here are some of the schemes being run by major retailers.
If you’ve got old Adidas clothes, accessories or shoes you no longer wear you can check their trade-in value on its app and swap them for a gift voucher to use online at the retailer.
Just download the free Adidas app on Android or Apple and become a “Creators Club” member.
Once signed up, you can access the Infinite Play section, which tells you how much your item could be worth as an e-gift card. This is based on its age and condition. You’ll also get 200 Creators Club points.
Creators Club members earn points by a number of means, including making purchases, completing reviews and tracking runs. Points can then be used to unlock rewards, including invites to special events or early access to limited edition shoes.
If you’re in London, a courier service will come to collect gear from your door at a time that suits you, or you can be sent a free postage label to post items.
The catch is you need to have originally purchased the items you’re trading in directly from Adidas UK, and the total numbers of items traded in must be worth at least £20.
Once you’ve posted your items to Adidas, it will clean, repair and resell them or turn them into something new if they’re really worn out.
We’ve asked Adidas to confirm if the scheme is still up and running during the coronavirus climate but it would appear so from its website.
Online-only retailers Boohoo and Pretty Little Thing, which are part of the same group, have signed up to a recycling scheme using the reGAIN app.
Users simply download and register on the app for free on Android or Apple, put unwanted items in a box or bag, and either print off a shipping label and take the parcel to a drop off point, or hand the box in directly at a participating charity’s shop.
You can donate any unwanted clothes, shoes and accessories but you must have at least ten items.
Shoppers then get access to a variety of online and in-store discount codes at reGAIN’s partner retailers which include Dune, Foot Asylum, Missguided, Miss Selfridge, My Protein, NewBalance, Sport Pursuit, and Superdry.
We’ve asked reGAIN for examples of discounts, if shipping is free, and if the scheme is still running during the coronavirus crisis and we’ll update this story as soon as we hear back.
When H&M shoppers hand in a full bag of unwanted clothes in any condition and from any brand at the in-store tills they get a £5 off H&M voucher.
The voucher can be used both online or in store but the catch is it must be used towards a purchase of at least £25.
All clothes collected by H&M are then either reused, reworn or recycled – materials can even go towards insulation for cars.
H&M has confirm to The Sun that the scheme is still up and running during the coronavirus crisis.
Firstly, you can usually drop off unwanted clothes, accessories, jewellery, and soft furnishings – from any retailer, even if it’s damaged – in “Shwop Drop” boxes in M&S stores across the country.
Clothing goes to Oxfam where it’s reused, resold, or recycled.
This side of the scheme is currently paused due to the coronavirus crisis but M&S says it hopes to relaunch it soon.
Before lockdown, you’d have got 50 Sparks points for every bag of clothes donated but M&S’ loyalty scheme was revamped in June, and when Swhopping reopens you’ll no longer get this perk, or anything else.
Alternatively, if you have M&S clothing or soft furnishings you no longer want, you can instead donate them to an Oxfam store where you’ll be given a £5 off M&S clothing, home and beauty voucher to spend in stores.
This element of the scheme is still running, although make sure your local Oxfam has reopened before making a special trip and call ahead to check it’s got space for stock as it’s currently quarantining donations for 48 hours.
To use the voucher you will need to spend at least £35 in M&S and you can only use one voucher per transaction.
Schuh has restarted its Sell Your Soles scheme following the coronavirus crisis.
Shoppers just need to bring a pair of unwanted shoes of any brand (they don’t need to have been purchased at Schuh) into a store where they’ll be given a £5 off Schuh voucher.
Shoes are then collected by Recyclatex, which will recycle 98% of all components and materials.
Just bear in mind you can’t hand in faulty shoes, and vouchers can only be redeemed against full price items over £25 and cannot be combined or used in conjunction with any other offer or discount.
Here’s why recycling your clothes is 2020’s biggest new fashion trend.
It comes as the average Brit admits to throwing 30% of their recyclable items into general waste.
We’ve also rounded-up 12 ways to turn rubbish into cash, from empty make-up to toilet roll tubes.