Sainsbury’s gives new life to clothing returns

Following a successful trial, Sainsbury’s is rolling out its partnership with UK charity ‘Newlife’, to all supermarkets. Newlife has built its foundation around recycling, reprocessing, and reusing clothing to support 1.1 million disabled and terminally ill children in the UK.

Since Sainsbury’s partnership with Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children first began in 2019, the retailer has donated 65.5 tonnes of unsellable clothing returns and faulty garments to the charity. With the partnership now rolling out across all UK stores, any of Sainsbury’s Tu clothing range that is not fit for resale in store will be recycled or resold by Newlife to help fund its important charity work and support Sainsbury’s commitments within its sustainability strategy, Plan for Better.

The money raised from reselling clothes in one of Newlife’s nine stores around the UK will help fund loans of sensory play equipment, grants for disability equipment, as well as emergency equipment loans for families. Charity shop sales also help to fund Newlife’s Nurse run national Helpline, which provides compassionate support for families with disabled and terminally ill children.

As well as helping Sainsbury’s deliver a positive impact for its local communities, the partnership also has a positive impact on the environment. All Sainsbury’s clothing returns and faulty garments which cannot be resold by Newlife will be broken down into raw materials so that they can be recycled or reused for a variety of different purposes such as car insulation and dog bed stuffing.

Stephen Johnson, Director of Technical & Ethical at Sainsbury’s said: “Sainsbury’s is committed to taking action to protect the environment and to supporting our local communities. We’re pleased to be rolling out our partnership with Newlife across all of our supermarkets and are incredibly proud of what we have achieved together so far. Not only does our partnership support the charity’s vital work in assisting so many children across the UK, but it also helps us to deliver our commitment to support local communities, whilst helping our planet too by protecting resources and reducing waste.”

Instead of being a charity shop in the traditional sense and taking donations from individuals, Newlife works with over 300 leading retailers and manufacturers across the UK and Europe who donate items that would otherwise be destined for landfill – these are then sold in Newlife stores to raise vital funds for its charity services which provides specialist disability equipment and support for disabled and terminally ill children and their families across the UK.

Stephen Morgan, Newlife’s Operations Director, said: “We are so pleased that our trial with Sainsbury’s went well and that the new partnership will be rolled out to all Sainsbury’s stores on a long term basis. By working together we are making a huge difference to the planet and people and it means we can help more families in need.”

Sainsbury’s is committed to increasing the use of recycling in its own operations and making it easier for customers and colleagues to recycle.

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