Retail Property Firm Launches Textile Recycling Scheme in Oxford
Landsec, one of the largest retail property owners in the UK, is set to pilot a textile recycling scheme at the Westgate shopping centre in Oxford.
The scheme, called ‘spring clean, think green,’ will allow people to recycle their old clothes by dropping them off at a recycling point within the centre.
If the scheme proves to be a success, Landsec will roll it out across its other 14 shopping destinations, including locations in Portsmouth and Wandsworth. The firm will judge the trial’s success on how many people recycle clothing and the total weight of what has been recycled.
Retail landlords need to help drive recycling
Landsec’s sustainability manager said that clothing banks have been around for a while, but a landlord-led initiative has been missing. If the owners of retail properties take action to drive recycling rates, it might lead customers to change their behaviour and recycle more textiles.
The recycling points will be interactive, and managed by I:Collect, a firm that provides collection, processing, and recycling of unwanted clothing. The company already operates in the US, South America, and Australia. All of the clothing collected will be taken to one of I:Collect’s recycling facilities and sorted for recycling or reuse.
Is it the right time for a tax on clothing?
The new scheme is being launched hot on the heels of the Environmental Audit Committee’s recommendation that the government introduces a 1p per garment levy on clothing to make manufacturers and retailers contribute more towards reducing clothing waste and recycling.
Landsec’s head or property said that while it’s right to be concerned about the impact of so-called ‘fast fashion,’ putting a levy on clothing will not help some already struggling high street retailers. He added that retailers and retail landlords have a role to play in saving clothing from landfill, but that Landsec hopes the scheme will make a positive impact without having to penalise retailers financially.