IN an era of reduce, reuse and recycle, donating unwanted clothing to those in need is more important than ever before - but you can also get discounts at your favourite shops at the same time too.
These retailers are offering customers something in return for their generosity with discounts in exchange for donations.
On the face of it, the fast-fashion ethos of the high street may seem like it’s fuelling the fires of throw-away consumerism.
But some of the nation’s favourite stores are offering customers financial incentives to donate unwanted clothes and accessorises in exchange for vouchers and discounts on future purchases.
One such offer was spotted on the Ashleigh Money Saver's Bargain Hunters UK Facebook group by admin Lucy Noble this Sunday at a charity shop in Sunderland.
20 per cent off New Look
According to the sign in the posted photo, donating a bag of "pre-loved" clothing to your local Hospice UK shop will get you a 20 per cent off New Look voucher to use in any store in the UK and ROI.
The New Look Hospice UK 20 per cent off give back voucher offers generous customers a fifth off New Look branded items until Tuesday March 31, 2020.
And it’s not the only high-street store handing out generous discounts for your unwanted clothing.
15 per cent off Blacks
Blacks, the outdoor clothing and equipment retailer, have teamed up with the British Heart Foundation this month.
Its aim is to raise awareness and funds for the BHF cause and lifesaving research and celebrate all that the heart does to help you get out there and explore.
Stores will be accepting all clothing and footwear from any brand in a decent condition that the BHF can resell.
Then, in exchange for your donation, you'll receive 15 per cent off your next purchase.
£5 off M&S
Perhaps the best-known and longest-running scheme is the M&S and Oxfam Shwopping scheme.
Since the partnership began in 2008 over 28million garments have been donated in M&S and Oxfam shops, worth an estimated £19million for the charity.
Customers of the British retail giant can bring their old clothes or soft furnishings into either an M&S or Oxfam store (at least one item must be from M&S).
The high-street team will then raise as much cash as possible from your castoffs, whether it’s by reselling overseas or recycling, but they promise that nothing will end up in landfill.
Carmel Mcquaid, head of sustainable business at M&S said: “At M&S, we make clothes that customers can confidently wear for years to come and all our products undergo rigorous wear and wash tests.
"But, when customers have finished with their old favourites, we’ve made it easy to give them a second life through our Shwopping scheme with Oxfam."
Customers then receive a £5 M&S voucher to put towards clothing, home and beauty.
£5 off H&M
The H&M group and its sister stores, including Monki and &OtherStories, have a similar scheme for loyal shoppers to prevent their garments ending up in landfill.
The H&M Garment Collecting programme accepts clothing from any brand in any condition and will give generous donators a £5 voucher towards their next £25 purchase in-store or online in return.
All donations are reused, reworn or recycled in an effort to break the climate-harming, fast-fashion cycle.
"We see benefit in offering an incentive to encourage customers to recycle their clothes - this way we can guarantee that none of that clothing waste will end up in landfill," said Giorgina Waltier, sustainability manager for H&M UK & IE
"We can see that this is working, as the amount of textiles collected via this service continues to rise year on year.
"In order to redeem the voucher the customer must spend £25 or more in a single transaction, which discourages customers from making an impulse purchase simply because they have the voucher.”
Don’t have anything unwanted to donate? Not a problem.
Charitable voucher codes at Savoo
Savoo is an online money-saving and fundraising platform which connects retailers with charities, and their customers and supporters.
It has over 2,000 voucher codes for some of the UK's biggest retailers like John Lewis, Argos and Domino's.
Simply redeem a voucher code and the site will donate 50 per cent of its commission to a charity of your choice including Marie Curie, RSPCA, The Prince’s Trust, Save the Children and Mind.
Ed Fleming, managing director at Savoo said: “Through Savoo, users can save money at their favourite online shops while raising money for charity for free - a term we call 'lifestyle giving.
“With online shopping increasing, we are proud to say we have found a way to connect charities, retailers and customers on one platform.
“It’s never been easier for users to save money on your favourite brands, whilst supporting a worthwhile cause.”
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