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John Lewis pilots buyback scheme to combat clothing waste

By Huw Hughes


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John Lewis & Partners is paying customers to return preloved clothes to its Oxford store in a bid to “address the increasing volumes of clothing being sent to landfill.”

The ‘BuyBack’ trial, which launched on 4 October and runs for six weeks, allows ‘my John Lewis’ members to return preloved items from any womenswear and menswear brands stocked at John Lewis & Partners. Customers will receive 3 pounds per item up to a maximum of three pieces of clothing. The money can then be spent with John Lewis & Partners or Waitrose & Partners in stores or online.

An estimated 300,000 tonnes of clothing is sent to UK landfills each year. All clothing brought in as part of the scheme will be mended or reworked into a new item, resold, or recycled into new products.

Commenting on the pilot in a statement, John Lewis Partner and head of sustainability, Stephen Cawley, said: “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.”

Julie Blake, head of branch at John Lewis & Partners, Oxford, 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.”

Photo credit: John Lewis Partnership

John Lewis
Sustainable Fashion