ASOS and DPD launch Project ReLove to help customers and employees recycle clothes for free

At least 350,000 tonnes of second-hand, used clothing goes straight into landfill each year in the UK alone. As part of their constant drive towards a better, greener future, DPD UK and ASOS have launched Project ReLove to help customers recycle their clothes easily and for free.

Launched on 12 April 2021, ReLove is a new service run by DPD UK for ASOS customers. The aim is to make it easy for ASOS customers to get rid of any unwanted preloved clothing for free and with no hassle. All they need to do is choose the charity they want it to go to and hand their wrapped clothes to their local DPD delivery driver. DPD will do the rest by shipping the clothes to the chosen charity free of charge.

The charities are:

  • Scope
  • Marie Curie
  • British Heart Foundation
  • The Children’s Society
  • British Red Cross.

According to figures from waste charity Wrap, 5% of the UK’s total water and carbon footprint stems directly from clothes consumption. When the textiles degrade in landfill, they release damaging greenhouse gases, contributing to polluting emissions.

A separate study by Circular shows that the UK is the fourth biggest culprit for textile waste in Europe. Each of us throws away an average of just over 3kg of used clothing every year. After some goes to recycling and incineration, we each are responsible for an average of 1.7kg of landfill waste each year.

Olly Craughan, DPD’s General Manager of Sustainability, says: “DPD UK’s 25/25/25 vision to become the UK’s greenest delivery company means we don’t wait for people to ask us to solve problems. We come up with solutions before most people even know there is a problem. ReLove supports both customers and charities as part of our ongoing commitment to cutting waste and becoming the greenest delivery company in the world.”

DPD is focusing on introducing circular economy initiatives where possible. ReLove is an example of this alternative to the traditional business model. In this context, a circular economy is about finding an alternative to the ‘take, make, waste’ industrial model. The idea is to separate economic activity from the annihilation of finite resources – in other words to design ways to remove waste from the system.

DPD aim to change the UK’s record on clothes waste and slash the amount that gets dumped in landfill every year. A study by LABFRESH, a sustainable clothing label, says that the UK clothing industry is the third biggest in Europe. On average, we each spend just under £1000 on clothes each year, and many of us like to donate clothes we don’t wear anymore.

Figures show that from the 3.1kg of textile waste we each produce every year, only 0.3kg are recycled. A further 0.4kg are reused and 0.8kg incinerated. This leaves 1.7kg from every person in the UK going straight into landfill every year.

ReLove is a circular economy initiative devised by DPD to help customers quickly donate clothes they don’t want anymore. DPD chose to launch on the same day that non-essential retail can finally open their doors – and that includes charity shops. So, the preloved clothes will reach new owners sooner rather than later.

In its first phase, ReLove is only available for ASOS customers expecting a DPD delivery. They’ll be encouraged to reuse the packaging too before handing their preloved clothes to the DPD driver. The package will be taken back to the depot and labelled up for delivery to the chosen charity.

During the pandemic and enforced lockdowns, charity shops have lost an estimated £28 million per month. It’s hoped that the expected surge in donations and sales will help to offset these losses and get the sector back on its feet. We’re proud to be part of this recovery through ReLove.

Practical initiatives that make a real difference

Donating clothes to charity shops is one of the best ways to ensure ethical disposal of unwanted garments. Charities are in a great position to sort through donations and ensure that any items that can be resold This ensures fewer unused garments end up in landfill.

Olly Craughan says: “DPD leads the way on sustainability in the delivery space and I’m incredibly proud of the team for getting behind initiatives like this.”

ReLove is part of the ongoing changes DPD is making to become greener, cleaner and more sustainable. These include decarbonising their delivery fleet, but it’s also about more than investing in electric vehicles (EV). While being ahead in this, EVs are an obvious step to take. DPD want to go much much further than what’s expected and find new ways of creating green solutions throughout our entire operation.

And that’s what ReLove does. Olly says: “ReLove is another way for us to help cut emissions, reduce waste and raise money for charities at the same time. It’s also great to team up with ASOS on another smart solution for their customers.”

DPD is already delivering to ASOS customers’ addresses, so incorporating ReLove into ongoing deliveries means saving even more miles. Customers can access ReLove through the DPD app, which has more than nine million users currently.

Adds Patrik Silén, the Chief Strategy Office for ASOS: “Our focus has always been on providing our customers with an outstanding retail experience, and a key element of that is giving them opportunities to shop with us more responsibly.

“We know that our customers are very active in donating their pre-loved clothing and that they see it as a great way of keeping products in use and out of landfill, so partnering with DPD on the ReLove initiative is a natural fit for us. We’re proud to be joining forces with the team to drive sustainable solutions and look forward to seeing our customers’ response over the coming weeks.”

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