IKEA has launched its first UK-based textile take-back pilot scheme, which will give customers in Cardiff the opportunity to bring in any unwanted textiles purchased from any store â€“ from clothing to soft furnishings â€“ to be reused, repaired or recycled. There will also be workshops in store showing customers how they can breathe new life into old textiles, or turn them into something new.
In partnership with charity YMCA, customers will be able to bring anything from old clothing to soft furnishings to the store for the retailer to donate to the local community, including low-income families, charity shops and the homeless.
Recent research by Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) reveals that textiles are one of the least recycled commodities in the waste sector. Each year, the WRAP estimates the UK consumes 1.7 million tonnes of textiles, with almost a third of this ending up in landfill sites or being incinerated.
Ikea is working with WRAP as part of the latterâ€™s EU Life+ funded REBus project. WRAPâ€™s technical specialist Greg Lucas recently said that the project was bridging consumers and corporates in an effort to promote resource efficiency.
Matthew Fessey, Store Manager at IKEA Cardiff, said that with their vision to create a better everyday life for the many people, the textile take-back scheme in Cardiff will help their customers to live more sustainably while supporting people in need who are living in the local community.
They also want to allow their customers to upcycle their unwanted goods instead of throwing them away, minimising the contribution to landfill.
Ikeaâ€™s resource commitments fall under its People & Planet sustainability strategy. Under the initiative, the company has trebled the sales from its 'sustainable life at home' products, which are designed to promote sustainable living to its customers as part of a "Live Lagom" ethos that promotes the well-being of the individual alongside the protection of the planet.
A national rollout of the scheme could commence if customer feedback from the Cardiff trial is positive.
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