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Project: Pre-loved Outdoor Kit

Items saved from landfill: 300

Funds raised: £900+

About

Every year 350,000 tonnes of wearable clothing goes to landfill in the UK. At a time when access to suitable clothing is a significant barrier to accessing the Lake District for many people, we wanted to address this issue. 

Context

In the summer of 2023, the Lake District Foundation started work on a pilot project to see whether we could; reduce the amount of performance clothing sent to landfill, generate income for the charity, and provide much-needed kit to disadvantaged groups and therefore increase access to the Lake District. 

We trialled the project at 2 major sporting events: the Great North Swim and the 13 Valleys Ultra-marathon, with 10,000 and 1,000 participants and spectators respectively. In the run up to the events we invited all participants and spectators to donate wetsuits and outdoor gear at local collection points, such as Murley Moss Business Park and Brockhole Visitor Centre, Theatre by the Lake, and also on the day of the event  The project was promoted by the event organisers, which really helped us to reach the right audience. 

“These running shoes are still in top shape. I’ve found a bargain and the Lake District Foundation has raised money. Plus, that’s one pair of shoes saved from going to landfill”

~ Pop-up preloved shopper

60% of Brits say they have unwated clothes stored at home

Globally 22 billion pairs of shoes are thrown into landfill annually

£934 raised from first 2 pre-loved outdoor kit stall events

Results

During the events we displayed the kit and asked for donations for each piece of kit. In total, 300 pieces of kit were donated, and we raised £507 at the Great North Swim and £427 at the 13 Valleys. All donations were added to the Love Your Lakes Fund which is used for projects that improve the water quality in Lake Windermere. In total we raised £934 in donations, and saved 294 items from landfill.  We had a nice surprise when a gold European Championship runner donated a pair of trainers to the project! 

Feedback from the event was that it was really helpful to people who didn’t have the right kit, mostly because the weather conditions changed on the day, or because they were new to the sport.  An unexpected outcome was that some people returned to the stall at the end of the event to donate kit that they knew they no longer needed. Participants were really pleased to find a sustainable alternative to buying new kit that would only be used a few times. 

At the end of these two events there were only 6 pieces on unwanted kit remaining. These will be reused at the next event and if we receive items that cannot be sold we will partner with a textile recycling company to ensure these end up in closed-loop (used for other textile products) or open-loop (used for something else such as roads) recycling. 

What’s Next?

In order to scale up this project and raise more funds, and acquire more clothing to donate to disadvantage groups we need: 

  • More donation points in prominent locations 
  • More event partners 
  • Event staff and volunteers 
  • A beneficiary group e.g. local refugee support group, outdoor education group 
  • A clothing recycling partner 
  • Physical “shop” presence to reach wider audience. 

Look out for the Lake District Foundation’s clothing recycling project at events this summer. 

 

 

What else is happening?

This is one of the many projects achieved thanks to your support. Take a look at what we’re working on.

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