Clothes the Loop

Julian Lings, Sustainability Manager for The North Face in Europe, blogs about the importance of recycling clothes and the company’s new Clothes the Loop programme

With the Christmas celebrations coming to a close, many of us will get swept up in the excitement and buzz of the January sales. From winter jackets, to hiking boots, it is a great time to get kitted up for the coming winter months and adventures ahead. At the same time, it is also when many of us will do a wardrobe clear out and oust those garments and shoes that have simply been occupying space in our closets and no longer hold their initial charm or wow factor.

While it’s great to wrestle back control of our wardrobes, the challenge is what to do with those unwanted garments and shoes.  Research by Love Your Clothes found that around 350,000 tonnes of clothing goes to landfill every year in the UK.   With this staggering figure in mind, keeping clothes out of landfill and finding ways to re-use and recycle them is vitally important.  Many of them will be made of useful fabrics and fibres that are ideal for re-use or recycling. As the saying goes, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

As an apparel and footwear brand, here at The North Face we take this issue very seriously. The North Face brand heritage is built on a love for exploring the outdoors, and we are just as passionate about protecting it. Designing durable high quality products, using our resources efficiently, sourcing materials ethically, and reducing waste, are all important parts of our overall stewardship of the environment.

The problem of clothes going to landfill is getting increasingly more severe. At The North Face, we want to play our part in solving it. That’s why we are launching Clothes The Loop, our instore recycling programme, here in the UK. It stems from our commitment to reducing the environmental impact of our products at all stages of their life cycle, even those stages out of our direct control. It helps to divert unwanted apparel and footwear from landfills by providing a simple, rewarding way for customers to do the right thing.

Since we started Clothes the Loop, people have brought in more than 13,000kgs of clothing and footwear to The North Face stores in the US, Germany and Canada to be recycled and kept out of landfills. It’s just a small contribution to our bigger commitment to building a sustainable future for the apparel industry.

From this January, customers can bring in their used footwear and apparel into one of our participating UK stores and drop them off in one of our designated Clothes The Loop bins. They can be from any brand in any condition. In return, they’ll earn a reward towards their next The North Face purchase. Click here to find out where the nearest participating store is to you.

Together we can help protect our environment, and our outdoor playgrounds, so we keep exploring for generations to come.