A newly published report reveals the positive impact clothing donations has on protecting the planet.

The Annual Impact Statement, published by Salvation Army Trading Company (SATCoL), uses an industry-recognised and independent measure developed by WRAP’s Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP), of which SATCoL has been a signatory since 2012.

Extending the useful life of second-hand clothing diverts items from disposal and helps prevent the need to produce new materials at an environmental cost. Since 2012, SATCoL has diverted over 300,000 tonnes of clothing from disposal and, over a 12 month period, collects, reuses and recycles around 47,000 tonnes.

SCAP measures the CO2, waste and water savings from SATCoL’s reuse and recycling initiatives. One key highlight shows that, annually, SATCoL’s initiatives prevents over 235,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere – the equivalent of the emissions generated, on average, from 120,000 cars every single year.

As a charity textile collector, SATCoL plays a critical role in encouraging reuse and recycling through a large network of conveniently located charity shops, donation centres and clothing banks. The company also works with corporate partners, helping to divert end-of-life and returned products going to landfill, and reselling donated goods to raise funds for The Salvation Army and other community charities.

Bernie Thomas, Circular Economy and Sustainability Manager, said:

“Fashion brands, manufacturers and distributors are committing to higher production standards, and contributing to a circular textiles economy that reuses garments, recycles materials and minimises the impact on the environment. Change is necessary and a recent Government announcement will ensure companies across the value chain work together towards several sustainability targets. The Government-backed Textiles 2030 voluntary agreement, of which SATCoL is a founding signatory, will drive innovation in clothing design, recyclability, labelling and consumer information. Our work with Textiles 2030 and other organisations such as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation will enable us to further support our partners in reaching their sustainability goals, and positively influence the environmental footprint and social impact of clothing and textiles.”

The SATCoL Annual Impact Report is available to download here >