Love your clothes

An estimated 350,000 tonnes of clothing are binned in the UK each year. You can do your bit to reduce this waste (and save money!) by buying less and selling, repairing and donating your unwanted textiles.

To produce new clothing the fashion industry uses unsustainable amounts of water, fossil fuels and energy, along with manufacturing processes associated with toxic chemicals, waste and pollution.


What happens to clothes in general waste?

In Redbridge, all general waste is sent to Mechanical Biological Treatment facilities where it is shredded and passed through various conveyors to extract recyclable materials such as metal and glass.

It is not possible to recover textiles during this sorting process and although the waste in our borough is turned into refuse-derived fuel, there are many more sustainable ways to manage your unwanted or damaged clothing.


What can you do to reduce your textiles waste?


  • Consider if you really need to buy that new item of clothing, remember that the most sustainable clothes are the ones you already own!
  • If you do need to buy new clothes, consider charity shops or pre-loved buying sites first. For school uniform needs see if your local school is signed up to The School Uniform Bank. The less brand-new clothing we buy, the lower the demand and the fewer precious resources are needed for production.
  • Think about creating a ‘capsule wardrobe’. This is a collection of clothing composed of interchangeable items only, to maximise the number of outfits that can be created. The aim is to have an outfit suitable for any occasion without owning excessive items of clothing. Investing in good quality will mean you won’t need to replace your clothes as often, save you money and reduce how much wardrobe space you need.



  • Make some extra money selling your pre-loved clothes (and more!) using apps such as Vinted or Depop.
  • Visit a clothes swap event to swap your valued but no longer used clothing with other people’s. Or group together with friends and family and host your own! Hubbub’s website has a great article on how to run your own clothes swap.
  • Donate to local charity shops.
  • If your child’s school is signed up, donate school uniform using The School Uniform Bank.
  • Drop off at a local textile banks, a local textile bank. Be sure to check what items are accepted at banks before you travel.
  • Some food banks or children’s centres accept clothing. Check your local ones to see if they do.
  • Book a free home collection from our charity partner TRAID.

We have recently partnered with clothing reuse charity TRAID, to offer residents a convenient way to donate clothing using TRAID’s free home collection service.

Clothes donated to TRAID go on to be reused and sold in their charity shops, to reduce the environmental and social impacts of our clothes and raising vital funds for global projects to improve conditions and working practices in the textile industry.

What can you donate?

  • Clean, wearable clothes
  • Shoes
  • Accessories
  • Sheets and household linen (excluding duvets and pillows)

You can book a collection for a minimum of 1 large bag or 3 small bags of clothing, but TRAID encourages residents to donate more than the minimum amount, as this helps the charity to deliver a more efficient service.

This service is open to all Redbridge households, including flats, and allows you to book a collection on a day that suits you. In addition to your main clothing donation, a small bag of broken small/medium-sized electrical items such as kettles and toasters may be given to the collection driver.

You can book a free online collection or by call 020 8733 2595.

A collector in a branded TRAID van will collect the donations from you on the agreed day.