John Lewis pilots buyback clothing scheme

John Lewis & Partners introduced a pilot scheme at its Oxford shop last Friday (October 4), inviting customers to return ‘preloved’ clothes in exchange for payment per item.

Through this ‘BuyBack’ trial, the shop is accepting items from any womenswear and menswear brands stocked at John Lewis, from its 20,000 local ‘my John Lewis’ members invited to take part.

In return, these customers will receive £3 per item, up to a maximum of three pieces of clothing, which can then be spent with John Lewis or Waitrose in shops or online.

The department store group said the initiative was created ‘to make it easy for customers to responsibly dispose of any unwanted clothes bought at John Lewis, helping to address the increasing volumes of clothing being sent to landfill’.

John Lewis head of sustainability Stephen Cawley commented: “As a leading fashion retailer we know we have a responsibility to help reduce the amount of clothing waste generated and the number of resources used to create clothing. Our approach has always been to make high quality garments which last, but inevitably there comes a time when they are no longer worn.

“Our customers are becoming increasingly aware of their actions on the environment, so we want to make it easy for them to ensure the products they buy from us have a long life after they no longer have use for them.”

Head of the Oxford branch Julie Blake added: “We know from the success of the ‘Waitrose Unpacked’ trial in Oxford that there is a lot of local support for sustainability initiatives. We’re looking forward to running this trial and rewarding loyal customers for ensuring pre-loved clothes can be enjoyed and appreciated once more.”

With an estimated 300,000 tonnes of clothing sent to landfill in the UK each year, through this trial John Lewis & Partners guarantees that all clothes brought in will be mended or reworked into a new item, resold, or recycled into new products.

The trial at Oxford runs for six weeks.


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