Penneys launches new clothing take-back program in all Irish stores

With the eye-catching slogan “When in Doubt, Don’t Throw It Out”, Penneys has launched an innovative new clothing take-back program in all of its 36 Irish stores, including the Penneys store at Golden Island Shopping Center in Athlone.

Designated pick-up boxes have now been installed in all Penneys stores, accepting clothing, shoes, bags and textiles such as towels and linens, of all brands and under all conditions. All donations will either be resold, recycled or reinvented.

The Penneys Textile Takeback Scheme aims to encourage customers to responsibly recycle the clothes they love, as new research shows 79% of people are more likely to donate clothes they love if they can bring them. in a store. Surprisingly, research also found that almost a quarter of Irish consumers (23%) still don’t know that clothes and shoes can be recycled in the first place!

Penneys decided to launch their clothing take-back program to make it easier for people to donate their pre-loved clothes and textiles and give them a second life. It starts as new research into the recycling behavior of Irish consumers has revealed that the lack of drop-off points is a barrier, with the vast majority more likely to recycle clothes and shoes if they can do so in a store. .

New research published by Penneys and conducted by RED C Research & Marketing, found that lack of drop-off points for pre-loved clothes is a barrier to donations, with the vast majority of people saying they would be more likely to recycle clothes and shoes. if they could do it at a local store.

The study also found that Irish consumers are still unsure of the dos and don’ts of recycling, with almost a quarter (23%) unaware that clothes and shoes can be recycled . Additionally, more than half (51%) admitted that they throw away old clothes that can’t be worn again, while 91% of people said they recycle clothes and shoes that can be worn again.

Damien O’Neill, sales manager at Penneys, described the new program as a “bold new ambition to become a circular and more sustainable business” and said it would make it easier for consumers to donate or recycle their clothing. ‘before.

“We want to help educate our customers and bring them on this journey with this and part of that is understanding what they think today about recycling old clothes. Although it is very encouraging to see how many people are already donating their used clothing and footwear, we learned that there is still a lot to be done to help educate customers on what can be recycled and where, ”he said.

Mr. O’Neill said the Textile Takeback Scheme is part of the fashion chain’s goal to “help people make more sustainable choices and recycle or donate with convenience.” This also includes a commitment to “reduce fashion waste, as well as our commitment that all of our clothing will be made from recycled or more sustainable sources by 2030 and the way we are working to give our Longer-lasting clothes are all important parts of the way we do business. become a more circular business, ”he said.

Penneys has partnered with Yellow Octopus, one of the leading recycling specialists, for its textile take-back program. Yellow Octopus has a “no landfill” policy in the 21 countries in which it operates, diverting approximately one million garments from landfill each month. It aims to get as many donations as possible to be worn again, with the rest being reused in new products such as insulation, toy stuffing and mattress padding.

Jack Ostrowski, CEO of Yellow Octopus Group, said “We are delighted to continue our collaboration with Penneys and to contribute to their efforts to reduce textile waste and divert fashion items from landfill. It is important that the entire fashion industry changes from a linear business model to a circular business model. As with any trip, it has to start somewhere, and this Takeback is the very beginning of fashion circularity. “

The Textile Takeback program follows the launch of retailer “Primark Cares” new sustainability strategy last month, as the company outlined its commitments to become a more sustainable and circular business. As part of this, Primark will improve the sustainability of its own products and, as a signatory of Textiles 2030, will work with the sustainability charity WRAP and other retailers to develop new clothing sustainability guidelines to collectively move the fashion industry towards a more circular economy. and in turn reduce the waste of fashion.

All proceeds from the program will go to UNICEF, one of Primark’s global charitable partners.

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