Proeprty company Landsec is introducing a landlord-led recycling initiative in response to calls from the government to place a levy on fashion items.
A month-long pilot-recycling scheme for used clothes at will launch at Westgate Oxford on 4 March.
Customers will be able to donate garments at a recycling point in the shopping centre. If it is successful, it will be rolled out across all Landsec’s shopping destinations.
The success of the scheme will be measured by the number of people donating items and the total weight of the clothes.
It will be operated by I:Collect, a company that specialises in the collection, sorting, re-use and recycling of used clothing.
The initiative comes after MPs said the government must “end the era of throwaway fashion”, and make retailers take responsibility for waste by introducing a 1p charge on each item of clothing to pay for better clothing collection and recycling.
Ailish Christian-West, head of retail portfolio at Landsec, said: “Secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs Michael Gove is right to be concerned about the impact fast fashion has on the environment, but now is not the time to introduce a new levy in bricks-and-mortar retail. Both retailers and retail landlords undoubtedly have a role to play in reducing the amount of textiles that end up incinerated or sent to landfill.
“At Landsec, we believe that through innovation and collaboration, we can make a significant and positive impact without placing an additional financial strain on the retail industry. We will be measuring the impact we have and look forward to sharing our results with the minister.”
Tom Byrne, sustainability manager at Landsec, said: “Clothing banks have existed for a number of years, but what we feel has been missing is a landlord-led initiative which can really drive up recycling rates in key retail destinations. Our kiosk will bring the experience of recycling to life for customers and we’re hopeful that a less passive waste strategy will translate into greater enthusiasm for recycling textiles.”