A NEW recycling centre is giving people the chance to swap clothes for cash.
The company behind the unit at Hylton Riverside Retail Park in Sunderland hopes to encourage more people to recycle their unwanted textiles and clothing.
North East-based company Enviroclothes launched its latest site after trialling drop-off points in Wearside over the past year at Dalton Park and Washington Galleries.
Laura Greener of TD clothing Ltd, which is behind the concept, said: “Enviroclothes is a free recycling service that actually pays you for your unwanted items. Items are weighed and customers receive their cash immediately.
“During the trial period the business has grown significantly and we currently have over 350 people a day using our home-collection or drop off points - this year we are on course to increase our transactions by 170 per cent on last year.”
The new base in Sunderland will be the company’s ninth permanent drop-off point and will also create two new full-time jobs.
Items including adults and children’s clothing, shoes, bags, handbags, belts, bedding covers, towels, curtains and soft toys are accepted free of charge, weighed, then cash paid out or donated to charity.
Laura added: ““We believe people want to recycle however many do not know how or have the time.
“After operating a successful home-collection service we spotted a gap in the market and began trialling drop-off points.
“These are permanent collection points making recycling clothing easy, convenient and rewarding.
“Following a successful trial period we have put our expansion plan into place. The Sunderland centre is our ninth drop-off point and we hope to have 12 across the region by early next year.
“What makes our service different is that people receive a cash reward for their items, particularly helpful for some during challenging economic times.
“If they choose to they can donate the money to charity. As well as working with schools and group to help them fundraise we have also donated over £15,000 for Cash for Kids over the past two years.”
As all items are exported to wholesalers in the developing world and Eastern Europe to be sold on. Badly worn, torn, damaged or stained cannot be accepted.
Find out more at www.enviroclothes.co.uk.
Textiles are the fastest growing sector of household waste.
Over 1 million tonnes of textiles end up in landfill every year, most coming from household sources.
Man-made fibres such as nylon and polyester do not decompose.
Natural fibres such as wool do decompose but in doing so produces methane which contributes to global warming.