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Clothing Banks

bring-siteSalvation Army Clothing Banks

The Salvation Army Clothing Collection Scheme (SATCoL) was first established in 1991 since when it has grown into the UK’s leading recycling scheme. It operates a fleet of vehicles around the country to collect unwanted quality clothes and shoes from clothing banks, door to door collections, schools and colleges. SATCoL is the UK’s leading textile and clothes recycling company, operating more than 6,000 clothing banks and over 175 charity shops around the country.


Textiles being the UK’s fastest growing waste stream we are passionate about diverting as many items from landfill as possible by encouraging the public to recycle their unwanted clothing. Of the items donated to us, 99% are reused or recycled, which means less than 1% is land filled. We are proud of this figure but continue to work towards zero landfill.


Approximately 3,000 tonnes of donations a month are processed and 2 tonnes a month is landfilled. We are presently working with our waste contractor to further process our non-textile items to minimise landfill and work towards zero waste.


Donated items are transported to a central facility in Northamptonshire where soiled and non-textile items are removed. After local and/or national needs identified by The Salvation Army are satisfied and Salvation Army Trading Company Limited charity shops’ requirements are met, the remainder is exported, primarily to countries in Eastern Europe. Records reveal that 99% of exported items are either reused or recycled with up to 80% re-worn

Salvation Army Trading Company Ltd carry out the work of collecting donated clothing. Items donated will be sold for re-use and recycling. 

The Operation is compliant and certified with:

  • Environmental Management System ISO 14001 : 2004
  • Quality Management System ISO 9001; 2008.
  • Occupational Health and Safety Management System OHS18001:2007

Profit that SATCoL receives from the sale of donated clothing is gift-aided to The Salvation Army, and we are proud to have donated £20 million to the charity in the past three years alone  The Salvation Army, is one of the largest non governmental provider of social and welfare community work throughout the UK. This work includes a network of 57 homeless shelters, programmes that support children, young people and families, residential centres for older people, a family tracing service, help for those suffering from addictions and much, much more.

Facts and Figures

  • DEFRA estimates that the UK public buys 2,066,000 tonnes of new clothes (30- 34 Billion pounds worth) and just 498,000 tonnes is recycled – that’s just 24%
  • 52% or 1,081,000, of unwanted clothes end up in landfill. This means that on average every person in the UK buys £600 of clothes each year and discards £400
  • It takes 176 gallons of water to make just one T-shirt!
  • If everyone in the UK recycled one garment each year, it would save an average of 371 million gallons of water; or the contents of an average reservoir in the UK
  • 95% of clothes purchased in UK are imported
  • It takes 10 times more energy to make one tonne of textiles than one tonne of glass
  • Reusing 1 tonne of clothing save 12 tonnes of carbon dioxide.


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