3 April 2023

Uniform Take Back Scheme: The new environmental initiative from SP&S

Captain Jo Moir

A person prepares pre-loved uniform items for reuse and delivery.

Captain Jo Moir introduces a new initiative for pre-loved Army uniforms.

SP&S has launched a Uniform Take Back Scheme to help people pass on old Salvation Army uniforms that still have working life in them.

Recycling uniforms is not a new idea, but the innovative team at SP&S has been looking at how this can be shared across the territory. Last year, the Uniform Council started considering the practicalities of recycling formal uniform items as part of the UKI Territory’s commitment to care for creation.

Launched on 1 April, the Uniform Take Back Scheme provides a convenient and cost-effective way to return pre-loved uniform items that could be reused or recycled, while also protecting the environment, minimising waste and maximising reuse and recycling. It will take receipt of pre-loved jackets, overcoats, trousers and skirts via a prepaid postage label and garment bag. The SP&S in-house tailoring department will then assess and grade each garment for reuse or recycling.

SP&S General Manager David Hannah explained the motivation behind the scheme: ‘First, as part of our stewardship of the Earth, we should be encouraging each other to recycle and minimise any waste. 

‘Second, research shows that the environmental impact of reusing textiles is 70 times lower compared to producing new clothing.

‘Third, for some people the cost of a new formal uniform can be too high – giving everyone access to a quality pre-loved uniform at a greatly reduced price could make a huge difference.’

To use the scheme, people can apply for a prepaid postage label and garment bag on the SP&S website. In the future, SP&S roadshows may also be used as in-person drop-off points. 

SP&S is also investigating the possibility of using clothing banks as drop-off points for uniform items in clearly identifiable packaging that is environmentally friendly.

‘We have already collected and assessed a number of pre-loved items ready for pre-sale,’ added David.

Written by

A photo of Jo Moir.

Captain Jo Moir

Territorial Communications Officer

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