The Charity Retail Association (CRA) has welcomed Asda’s move last week to begin selling second hand clothes, saying any initiatives to “drive down textile waste” are welcome.
The supermarket giant last week announced it will be launching a “second-hand vintage fashion range” in its stores, aiming to give a “new lease of life to pre-worn garments”.
According to Asda, this will “prevent thousands of tonnes of garments going to landfill each year”.
Asda said that, in partnership with vintage fashion wholesaler ‘Preloved Vintage Wholesale’, the new concept would enable customers to buy vintage, retro and second-hand branded pieces in around 50 of its stores.
This follows a successful trial in Asda’s store in Leeds. Its clothing arm George is now launching the sustainable fashion partnership in a further 50 of its stores, including in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Brighton.
While the move could signal increased competition for charity shops, providing another outlet for second hand clothes, the CRA said it was fully behind the proposals.
Robin Osterley, chief executive of the CRA, said: “Any move that increases awareness of the need to make clothing more sustainable and last longer is all right by us, as is any move that helps drive down textile waste. And of course it’s great that Asda appears to be moving away from its fast-fashion orientated direction of travel.”
“Any move that increases awareness of the need to make clothing more sustainable and last longer is all right by us”
Mr Osterley added: “Of course, shopping in a charity shop is a very different experience to shopping in a supermarket – the personal interaction, the variety on offer, the excitement of finding a fantastic bargain from donated goods and the knowledge that your hard-earned pounds are being spent on a good cause are amongst the many things that make charity shopping unique.”
The move from Asda is part of the retailer’s ‘George for Good’ commitment to “drive down textile waste”.
As well as being an “advocate for sustainable sourcing, the retailer is also supporting customers to use less and recycle more”.
The company has already launched a ‘take back’ scheme for textiles, which encourages customers to bring back their unwanted garments to store, rewarding them with a 10% off George voucher and in return raising funds for Asda’s Tickled Pink campaign, which supports Breast Cancer Now and Coppafeel.
Mel Wilson, Asda’s global professional lead – sustainable sourcing and quality, said: “We know that sustainable fashion is something that’s really important to our customers and colleagues. They’re passionate about us encouraging everyone in the UK to think about the issues of waste and how we can make fashion and textiles more circular, so that we really can reduce the number of garments that go into landfill.”
Ms Wilson added: “This is an exciting partnership for George. It’s unique in that not only can our customers pick out some vintage and often designer garments at an affordable price, but they’re also helping to support reduce waste by giving these items a second lease of life which is something we are proud to be apart of.”