Reuse and recycle

Protect the earth, transform lives

Charity shop

Our Earth’s resources are precious to our future. That’s why we need to be careful about what we use, why we need to think twice before we overuse, and why we need to make an effort to reuse and recycle.

The Salvation Army’s trading arm, Salvation Army Trading Company Ltd (SATCoL), gives us all the opportunity to do just that; with clothing collection banks, charity shops and donation centres across the UK and Republic of Ireland, you can help to make sure we lessen our impact on overflowing landfill sites by donating your unwanted clothes and household items for reuse and recycling.

Not only that, profit that SATCoL receives from your donations is given to The Salvation Army to support our projects throughout the country (over £76 million has been donated by SATCoL in the last ten years alone).

Why reuse and recycle? 

  • An estimated £140 million worth (350,000 tonnes) of used clothing goes to waste in landfill every year 

  • Giving your unwanted clothing and household items to SATCoL’s clothing collection banks, diverts items going to landfill, and raises millions of pounds every year for The Salvation Army

  • For every tonne of textiles reused rather than sent into landfill, greenhouse gas emissions (a major cause of global warming) are reduced by 7 tonnes

  • Extending the average life of clothes by nine months would save £5 billion in resources used to supply, launder and dispose of clothing. 
     

Our charity shops accept other household items, and our larger, convenient donation centres welcome bigger items such as furniture. Through the clothing collection schemes, donation centres and charity shops, you have all sorts of easy and convenient ways to divert old clothes and other unwanted items from landfill. 

SATCoL is a market leader in collecting textiles within the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

* Source of statistics: WRAP 
 

Environmental credentials 

Currently, less than 1% of what is collected by SATCoL is sent to landfill. The other 99% is reused or recycled while they work towards a target of zero waste to landfill. Find out about the initiatives in place to reach this target along with SATCoL’s environmental accreditations and memberships

Our history in recycling 

The Salvation Army’s recycling initiatives actually have their origins in a scheme started in 1985 by Salvation Army officer Terry Pattinson. At the time, Terry was in charge of Mountbatten House in Southampton, a 106-bed Salvation Army centre that cared for older people and also provided detoxification services. Inspired by a clothing collection scheme he saw in action whilst visiting Australia, he returned to Southampton believing that a similar scheme in the UK could raise funds for Mountbatten House and provide work for its residents. 

From those early origins, there are now  around 8,000 clothing banks available for the public to make donations, along with a nationwide network of charity shops and donation centres.

Schools recycling programme 

It’s important to teach children and young people from an early age about recycling to help encourage behaviour change in future generations.

SATCoL works with hundreds of schools and colleges throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland to run schemes that give young people the opportunity to make donations safely and easily at their school, whilst learning about clothing reuse and recycling.

Find out more about the fun and informative Recycle with Michael scheme as well as other ways to get students involved in recycling. Find out more.

Recycle with Michael

Recycle with Michael is an innovative scheme that raises money and makes recycling fun.

Charity shops

Donating to our shops and buying our goods helps you save money, and us save lives.

Charity shops volunteering

Help us support communities across the country.

Clothing banks

Clear out your wardrobe, protect the environment, and help us change lives all over the UK.