Clothing Banks

Salvation army clothing collection pointSalvation Army Clothing Banks

The Salvation Army Clothing Collection Scheme was first established in 1991 and since then it has grown into the UK’s leading recycling scheme. Textiles are the UKs fastest growing household waste stream and reusing and recycling textiles greatly reduces the amount which is sent to landfill.

Clothing transport lorry

Salvation Army Trading Company operates more than 7,000 clothing banks and over 230 charity shops around the country while also working with schools and commercial partners to dispose of any excess stock and unwanted textiles. We work towards a target of zero waste, and currently less than 1% of what we collect through our clothing collection initiatives is sent to landfill, while the other 99% is reused or recycled.

lorry lifting a clothing collection point

We are passionate about diverting as many unwanted items from landfill as possible by encouraging the public to recycle any of their unwanted shoes and clothing. Over 40,000 tonnes is collected annually from our clothing banks and in the last ten years we have contributed over £76 million to further The Salvation Army’s vital charitable work.


The Salvation Army is one of the largest non-governmental providers of social and welfare community work throughout the UK. From all of the donations, essential money is raised to support the many services The Salvation Army provide:

  • Protection and care for victims of human trafficking and modern slavery
  • Over 3,000 beds supporting the homeless as well as helping people into permanent accommodation
  • Family tracing service – helping to restore family relationships
  • Emergency Response Unit across the country
  • 12 residential care homes and adult day centres to give and enjoy the best possible quality of life


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

 Salvation Army lorry

To find out more information, email our helpline at: or visit our website:

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.

Recycle for Dover District