Ethical Benefits of Recycling


Why Do We Recycle?

Recycling clothes for cash is certainly not a new industry, having appeared over 200 years ago in the Yorkshire Dales, where rag and bone men first collected and reused old textiles and clothing.

Much has changed in the intervening years. The advancement of technology now makes it possible to recycle both manmade and artificial fibres, to the tune of approximately one million tonnes of clothing each year. Rather than simply throwing your clothes away, we help you experience the environmental and social benefits of recycling, along with the peace of mind that your garments will be gratefully received by low income families across the world.

Our commitment to the community

We were established as a family run business in 2002, with a commitment to ethical recycling which has benefitted not only local people, who could recycle clothing for cash, but also local charities and schools. We have since worked with many charities across South Wales, recycling clothes for cash that can no longer be used. We are currently partnered with the PDSAThe Salvation ArmyTy Hafan , St Vincent’s Community Shops and Track 2000, who have received over £169,000 as a result of our work.

We have also helped over 38 schools in South Wales experience the benefits of recycling paper, plastic and clothes and raise much needed funds for school projects.

An ethical ethos

We recycle clothes, books, DVDs, CDs and computer games. All items are fully recycled and nothing goes to landfill.

  • Clothing – The clothing items we collect are sorted into items suitable for hotter and cooler climates, before being sent to a low income home. A large proportion of your clothing will be sent to Kenya, where it will be gratefully received by those in most need. Any clothing unfit for reuse will be ethically recycled, with nothing sent to landfill.
  • Books - The books we buy are commonly sent to bookshops across Europe, where they are sold to British expatriates or people overseas learning English. Any books unfit for resale are fully recycled by our partner firm DS Smith Recycling Ltd, where they are pulped and turned into packaging materials.

DVDs, CDs and computer games – We sell DVDs, CDs and computer games individually or in job lots. Any items that can’t be resold are recycled. Once again, nothing is sent to landfill.

The importance of ethical recycling

Not all textile and clothing waste is produced by households. Commercial processes such as fabric and garment manufacturing are also responsible for a large proportion of the total waste produced.

The good news is that 99 percent of all used textiles can be recycled to give your unwanted clothing items a new lease of life. These are just a few of the social and environmental benefits of recycling:

  • You receive cash for otherwise unwanted garments, and we save you the trouble of disposing of the items yourself.
  • One of the benefits of recycling clothes is the production of evergreen yarns and fabrics, helping to spawn a whole new breed of fashion designers who specialise in working with recycled fabrics.
  •   Recycling clothing, books, CDs, DVDs and computer games greatly reduces the amount of household waste destined for landfill.
  •   Sending less waste to landfill reduces the release of methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change
  • Increases the energy recovered from waste and reduces our reliance on fossil fuels
  •  Reduces the costs for businesses of managing and handling their waste
  •  Reduces the landfill tax businesses pay
  •  Rather than sitting at the bottom of your wardrobe or slowly decomposing on a landfill site (or worse still, never decomposing if the clothes are made from synthetic fibres), we find your old clothes a loving new home.
  •  The recycling process helps to save on energy consumption, as recycled items do not need to be scoured or redyed.
  • Another benefit of recycling paper, plastic and clothing is the development of new markets. Raw materials made from recycled products cost far less, making them more attractive to smaller and emerging manufacturers.

Top ten ethical recycling tips – lessons in sustainability for kids

  •  Place easily accessible recycling bins in the home and the office.
  •  Only use recycled paper, and recycle waste paper once it has been used.
  • Recycle your old technology properly by adhering to Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) recycling regulations.
  •  Recycle empty printer ink cartridges. Of the 65 million cartridges sold in Britain every year, only 15 percent are recycled. The rest go to landfill.
  • Always buy rechargeable batteries. 
  •  Never throw your old newspapers away. Once you’ve finished reading it, recycle it!
  • Buy a coffee mug for the office to avoid throwing away Styrofoam or paper cups.
  • Check for the recycling symbol on every purchase you make. If there is a recyclable alternative, buy it!
  • Rewritable DVDs and CDs and can be reused again and again, rather than being thrown away.
  •  Not only are remanufactured printer ink cartridges cheaper, they are also made from recyclable materials, reducing the demand for fossil fuels.

Why do we recycle?

Well, it should be pretty obvious. There are a huge number of social and environmental benefits of recycling. How else can you can protect the environment, help people in developing countries and reduce your energy consumption in one fell swoop?

Please bring your unwanted items along to Old Warehouse, 91 Station Street, Barry, or call 01446 735789 to arrange a convenient time when we can pick your unwanted items up.