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Cash in on circular fashion

To help reduce the 300,000 tonnes of clothing which gets sent to landfill each year and make use of unused clothing in its customers’ homes John Lewis is trialling an innovative buy-back service. The pilot, in which any unwanted clothing bought from its shops and website, regardless of condition, will be collected and immediately paid for is a world first. John Lewis has developed the idea with social enterprise Stuffstr who aim to ensure no product goes unused. The app-based service links to data on what customers have bought from John Lewis in the past five years to value the items. Customers select the products they want to sell and are immediately shown the amount they can receive for them and then decide if they want to sell. A courier will collect the products within three hours and as soon as the products have been collected, the customer is emailed a John Lewis e-gift card for the value of the items they have sold. Items bought back are then either resold, mended so they can be resold, or recycled into new products. Pic Shows Michaela using the app going through her old clothes

UK retail giant John Lewis is using an app-based service to collect clothes bought by customers in return for cash.

It has joined forces with social enterprise Stuffstr to offer the buy back service, in a bid to help tackle the 300,000 tonnes of clothing ending up in UK landfill each year.

“We hope that by making it as easy as we possibly can for customers to pass on clothing that they’re no longer wearing we can ensure that the maximum life is extracted from items bought from us.  All customers need to do to earn money from their unwanted clothing is tap on the clothing they want to sell, hand it to a courier and it will be given to someone else to love or made into something new. If the concept proves successful the next stage will be to offer an option for customers to donate the money to charity.”

The initial trial involves 100 customers but it is hoped it can be rolled out to achieve maximum impact from purchases made across its 50 shops and website.


“Every second the equivalent of one truck full of clothes is sent to landfill or incineration. Creating a circular economy for fashion requires unprecedented levels of collaboration and new business models harnessing the power of digital technology. We hope that this collaboration between Suffstr and John Lewis will encourage other innovators to design out waste,” added Francois Souchet, Make Fashion Circular Lead at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

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