We take your retired clothes!

At all KappAhl stores, customers can hand in used textiles for reuse and recycling. This is our joint effort to prevent textile waste and to conserve the planet’s resources.

Several thousands of tonnes of clothes, shoes and other textiles are thrown away every year as household waste and are either incinerated or sent to a landfill – all needless waste. We want to change that! Almost all of the textiles that are discarded could be put to use. To make it easy for you to make a more sustainable choice, we accept the textiles you have worn out or no longer need. Care and Rewear!

 

Here’s what to do:

  1. Fill one or more bags with textiles and take them to a KappAhl or Newbie store. We accept all types of clothes, home textiles, accessories and shoes, as long as they are dry and not heavily soiled. But any rips, holes and tears are not a problem!
  2. Present your bag(s) to the checkout staff and deposit them in the in-store collection bin.
  3. As a thank-you, you will receive a gift voucher worth SEK 50 per donated bag to spend on new clothes (minimum purchase SEK 300) in any of our stores. You can hand in one or more bags at a time.

 

What happens next?

The clothes we collect are transported to a sorting centre on the outskirts of Berlin. Here, they are assessed for their potential – more than half can actually be reused as they are, which benefits the environment most. The others can usually be recycled, and the fibres turned into new textile products such as cloths or insulating material. The small amount that can neither be reused nor recycled is incinerated as an energy source.

We are actively involved in a number of research projects to promote the development of new circular processes, such as recycling used textiles on a bigger scale. Our goal for the future is for even more recycled textile fibres to be transformed into new KappAhl clothes!

4 textile collection questions for KappAhl’s Head of Sustainability Fredrika Klarén

 

1. Why is KappAhl collecting used textiles instore?

"Every year, the global population consumes natural resources corresponding to 1.6 Earths. That equation doesn’t add up, and we need to switch to a sustainable resource use. As part of the fashion industry, KappAhl has a responsibility for guiding our customers and ensuring that more textiles are collected to give them as long a life as possible. Through our in-store textiles collecting, we make it easy for customers to help close the loop and ensure that the textiles handed in are put to use as opposed to being thrown away as household waste."

 

2. Can you really do anything with worn-out clothes?

"Yes, definitely, we can do a lot! Even a pair of socks with holes in them has value and can have its useful life extended. Any worn-out clothes can be ground down and turned into new textile products."

 

3. What happens to the textiles customers donate in-store?

"Day-in, day-out, hundreds of tonnes of textiles arrive at our partner I:Collects sorting facility in Berlin, including the textiles we collect. I:Collect focuses on maximising the value and useful life of each garment and sends up to 60 per cent of the textiles to second-hand markets . The second-hand clothing market is really a global market, so the garments can end up anywhere from a second-hand market in Mozambique to a vintage boutique in Japan. What can't be reused is recycled to make textile products like cloths or insulating materials. A small percentage, typically metal buttons and the like, can’t be recycled and have to be incinerated for energy recovery. I:Collect are very skilled at ensuring no resources are wasted. Even the textile dust from the manufacturing process is put to use – they use it to make briquettes."

 

4. What will it take for the fashion industry to close the loop and make new garments from the recycled textiles?

"More collection and innovation. Textiles need to be collected on a big scale and sorted in the right way. We also need to find solutions for how to recycle textiles for use in fashion and home textiles. At the moment, most of the recyclable textiles are downcycled, meaning they are turned into products of lesser value such as cloths and insulating material. It’s better than having them incinerated, but not good enough. Happily, science is giving us hope! I don’t think it will be long before we can create new KappAhl products from the recycled textiles."