Where can I re-use, repair or recycle my outdoor gear?

Posted by Catherine Flitcroft on 18/02/2022
Photo: Patched up jacket from @mulchrepairs in Sheffield

The most sustainable product is the product you already own. We've pulled together a list of retailers and organisations who can help you re-use, repair or recycle your old or unwanted clothing and outdoor kit.

Textile waste is a global issue that brands are increasingly required to take responsibility for so now there are more and more opportunities to help us reduce this waste and repair or dispose of our old kit responsibly.

Outdoor clothing in particular, contains synthetic fabrics such as nylon and polyester that are made from thin plastic fibres. These man-made substances can have an impact on the environment where they are used so reducing the environmental impact of our products at all stages of their life cycle is essential if we are to reduce our impact.

Recent data from the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) suggests outerwear made up the bulk of items the public chucked away (37%) followed by shoes (19%).

The most sustainable product is the product you already own. This means keeping it out of landfill and using it for as long as possible before recycling it or donating it to someone who will continue to use it. 

Here at the BMC, we have pulled together a list of retailers and organisations who can help us re-use, repair or recycle all of your old or unwanted kit.

Re-use / Donate 🤝

Cotswold Outdoor / Snow+Rock / Runners Need: Recycle My Gear

Drop off bins can be found in stores across the country. They'll take clothes of any quality and brand, home textiles, paired shoes (including climbing shoes) of any quality and brand (best bound together), garments that are ripped, have holes and permanent stains

Find Out More

Outdoor Gear Exchange

Sell your old kit on Facebook
 

Outdoor Kit Exchange

Buy, sell or trade your old outdoor kit on Facebook

 

Kitsquad

Their goal is to assist low-income people with getting out into the great outdoors, having awesome adventures.

 

The North Face: Clothes The Loop

Donate old gear in-store
 

Ellis Brigham

They're working with homeless charities across the UK to recycle outdoor gear to give it a second life.
 

Gift Your Gear

Provides donated outdoor clothing and equipment to UK community organisations and supports organisations working with young people in the outdoors.
 

Decathlon: Second Life

All Second Life products have been marked in transit or quickly tested by our customers, leaving them with small, superficial scratches. This means they can’t be sold as new, but they’re still in great working order. 
 

Alpkit Continuum 

Donate unwanted outdoor clothing or equipment by dropping off at any Alpkit store (you can also post it in for free). It is then sorted and passed on to outdoor education or homeless charities to help people in need who can give it a second life. Nothing will go to landfill, guaranteed.  Circular Economy Recycling

 

Mountain Warehouse

Several retailers are part of a scheme where you can donate unwanted clothing to a charity and receive discount vouchers in return, a way to reduce it being thrown away and diverted from landfills. https://regain-app.com/
 

Osprey

Ex-sample and preloved, repaired rucksacks


Blue Bird Exchange

Reclaiming, repairing and redistributing outdoor gear (Edinburgh area)

https://www.bluebirdexchange.co.uk/
 

ReRun Clothing

Pre-loved running clothes and equipment


Play It Again Sport Wales

Donation drop off points for all usable sports equipment and clothing across South Wales

 

Outdoor Gear for Good

They take excess inventory of outdoor clothing at no charge, supply approved outdoor-related charities, recycle in the best way that they know, recover value from the best inventory and give all profit to charity.

https://www.outdoorgearforgood.com/who-benefits

Outdoor Gear For Good sells donated products from its UK eBay shop, with 100% of the proceeds being donated to conservation charities.


 

Repair & Clean🧵

Cotswold Outdoor: Repair and Care

Get your gear repaired, from jackets to sleeping bags

 

Montane Repair Service

In-house repair team help extend the lifetime of your product with a variety of repairs which include; patch and panel repair, stitching repairs, seam re-taping and zip slider repair.

 

Mulch Repairs

‘Mulch and the Broken Thing’ is an outdoor clothing and kit repair workshop based in Sheffield. Drop your items off at The Climbing Works if you need zip replacements, new baffle panels or cuffs in a jacket, boulder pad repairs, a seat patch in your favourite shorts or long pants, rucksacks, tents, sleeping bags, custom alterations, up-cycling.


Llanberis Resoles

Re-sole climbing shoes


Alpkit Repair Station

 

Repair any brand of clothing or outdoor equipment, or get it modified to meet your needs better. Drop off in an Alpkit store or send in by post.  In-store repairs


Patagonia: Worn Wear Tour

Bring old gear from any brand to be repaired
Patagonia care and repair for your kit


Rab

Down & Synthetic Clothing Repair

Clean and repair service

https://rab.equipment/uk/?rab_live_uk_products%5Bquery%5D=repair

 

Lancashire Sports Repairs 

Repairs on all outdoor brands like clothing, footwear, rucksacks, tents & sleeping bags

 

The Boot Repair Company

Outdoor footwear repair service 

 

Feet First (Derbyshire)

Outdoor footwear repair service

 

Berghaus Repairhaus

Free repair service
 

Vango

Tent Repair, Awning Repair, Sleeping Bag Repair & Rucksack Repair
 

Tiso

Footwear repairs at their Edinburgh store
 

3rd Rock

MEND ME with an upcycled Repair Club patch, made from trouser leg offcuts.

 

Scarpa

Offer a full re-sole service

 

Mulch and the Broken Thing

Outdoor clothing and kit repair workshop based in Sheffield


Down Cleaning

The Cleaning Centre brings Down Jackets and Sleeping Bags back to life.

 

Ox Wash

Sustainable laundry and cleaning service (Oxford, Battersea, Cambridge)

 

Cheshire Shoe Repairs

Resoling and repairing climbing shoes.

 

Dannah

Offer a repair and wash service for their products

 

Buffalo Systems 

Offers a repair service for their products 

 

Sheffield Clothing Repair

Clothing and Outdoor Gear repairs in Sheffield

 

Scottish Mountain Gear

Specialising in the repair and maintenance of outdoor clothing, small tents, rucksacks, sleeping bags and down filled clothing.

 

Gear Aid

Created products that fix and restore gear

 

StormSure

Advice and gear to fix most things

 

Recycle ♻️

Rab

They are piloting a down collection scheme in the UK, trying to close the loop and collecting worn-out down products like old down duvets, pillows, jackets, sleeping bags and more, before giving this valuable material a new lease of life.  Find out more


Alpkit Continuum X Re:Down

For unwanted or no longer functional down items (clothing, sleeping bags, duvets & pillows). If the item is still usable it will be passed on to outdoor education or homeless charities to help people in need, if not it will be sent to Re:Down who will recover and recycle the down content. Drop off in an Alpkit store or send in by post. Find out more


Green Peak Gear

Working closely with a number of climbing walls to collect unwanted gear.
 

Scavenger

Together with Green Peak Gear, Scavenger are on a mission to provide alternatives to sending retired climbing gear to landfill. In many of the climbing centres across the UK, Scavenger have set up collection points where climbers can donate their old gear.
 

Dirt Bags Climbing

Recycling old outdoor and climbing gear and saving it from landfill.
 

Make your own rope rugs

Ideas on where to get patterns - some rope manufacturers include instructions with the new rope.


Crackpacs

Backpacks and bags made from repurposed canvas tents and outdoor gear.

https://www.crackpacs.com/
 

Hard Hat recycling – Yes Recyling

The scheme is a membership scheme, whereby registered members can send their hard hats directly into a dedicated hard hat recycling facility where they will be destroyed, with all of the plastic being fully recovered and made back into “new” plastic pellets.

Find out more

FURTHER SUGGESTIONS

  • Ensure you follow guidance and instructions on how to look after your kit and keep it clean
  • Look for local organisations that collect winter clothing, usually for those who are homeless or new refugees
  • Consider contacting your local zoo, they often need old ropes.

GET IN TOUCH

We would like to keep this list as up to date and as complete as possible. 

If you know of other useful organisations and retail outlets who are offering a recycling, repair or re-use service, please drop us a line and we’ll add it to the list.

Email: cath@thebmc.co.uk


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Anonymous User
12/03/2022
Great ideas for clothing etc but is there anywhere I can get climbing gear slings replaced on canning devices in the UK?

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