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
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
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.
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
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/
Ex-sample and preloved, repaired rucksacks
Blue Bird Exchange
Reclaiming, repairing and redistributing outdoor gear (Edinburgh area)
Pre-loved running clothes and equipment
Play It Again Sport 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.
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 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.
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
Down & Synthetic Clothing Repair
Clean and repair service
Lancashire Sports Repairs
Repairs on all outdoor brands like clothing, footwear, rucksacks, tents & sleeping bags
Feet First (Derbyshire)
Outdoor footwear repair service
Free repair service
Tent Repair, Awning Repair, Sleeping Bag Repair & Rucksack Repair
Footwear repairs at their Edinburgh store
MEND ME with an upcycled Repair Club patch, made from trouser leg offcuts.
Offer a full re-sole service
Mulch and the Broken Thing
Outdoor clothing and kit repair workshop based in Sheffield
The Cleaning Centre brings Down Jackets and Sleeping Bags back to life.
Sustainable laundry and cleaning service (Oxford, Battersea, Cambridge)
Cheshire Shoe Repairs
Resoling and repairing climbing shoes.
Offer a repair and wash service for their products
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.
Created products that fix and restore gear
Advice and gear to fix most things
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.
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.
Backpacks and bags made from repurposed canvas tents and outdoor gear.
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
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.
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