The reGAIN app launches this week to help consumers turn unwanted clothes into discount coupons that can be spent at leading retailers in the UK.
A number of fashion brands and retailers are partnering the initiative, including Superdry, Asics, New Balance, Boohoo and Missguided.
Unwanted clothing contributes to 300,000 tonnes going to landfill every year: equivalent of 50 trucks worth of clothing per day.
A new app has been launched in partnership with a number of brands including Superdry and Asics, aimed at helping to divert unwanted clothing from UK landfill by incentivising recycling.
The reGAIN app, which launches this week, has been developed by Jack Ostrowski, Polish entrepreneur and founder of Yellow Octopus, which offers commercial sustainability from retail to end consumer. Its purpose is to help consumers turn unwanted clothes into discount coupons for leading retailers in the UK.
By boxing up their unwanted clothing and shipping them to reGAIN, consumers can earn discount coupons to use online or in store. The app has partnered with a number of fashion brands and retailers for the initiative, including Superdry, Asics, New Balance, Boohoo and Missguided, in addition to lifestyle brands and experiences including Expedia, Hotels.com, EVE Sleep and BodyBuilding.com.
According to reGAIN, the last 'spring clean' in the UK put 235m items of clothing into landfill, while unwanted clothing contributes to 300,000 tonnes of landfill every year – equivalent to 50 trucks per day. More than a quarter of Londoners and one-in-ten UK residents currently throw unwanted clothing in the bin instead of recycling.
Further research found that almost three quarters (73%) of people admit they no longer wear up to half the items they own.
"We are realists, not idealists," says Ostrowski. "We know that we can't stop people from buying clothes, but we can incentivise them to change their habits and divert hundreds of tonnes of clothing from UK landfill. Our long-term goal is a world in which clothes never become waste.
"The reGAIN app turns commercial sustainability into action and provides a modern solution for fast fashion lovers by rewarding sustainable behaviour. Stopping clothes from going to landfill is the first step towards a circular economy."
The majority of respondents surveyed by reGAIN said they would use the app to get their unwanted clothes re-used and recycled. The survey conducted by Censuswide with 2,200 respondents also found that 67% of people would recycle more if they were rewarded for doing so; 66% would recycle more if it was free and easy to do so; while 56% would recycle more if they knew how much environmental damage sending clothes to landfill causes.
Clothes can be sent free of charge from over 20,000 drop-off points across the UK. And in order to keep the carbon footprint to a minimum, reGAIN app only accepts one drop per week per customer, with a minimum of ten items in each shipment. Once the clothes reach reGAIN app, they are either re-used and re-worn, recycled, upcycled, or used as combustibles for energy production.
"The reGAIN app provides consumers with a three-fold 'Do Good' scheme: firstly, to do good for their living space through de-cluttering; secondly, to do good for their wallet, by receiving coupons and shopping for less; and thirdly, doing good for the planet, by diverting clothing from UK landfill," Ostrowski adds.
The launch of the app follows the recent Ellen MacArthur Foundation report, 'A New Textiles Economy', which found the fashion industry is the third largest polluter of the planet. It also coincides with Fashion Revolution Week, which begins on 23 April and will see a series of events taking place around the globe prompting consumers to ask who and how their clothes are made.
Yellow Octopus has over 12 years of experience providing sustainable stock exit solutions for British fashion retailers including Asos, John Lewis, Primark, Boohoo, Missguided, and UK supermarkets. The reGAIN app is available on Android and iOS devices and is available for free download on iTunes and Google Play.