Second hand clothing collection and sales at retail

Consumers in the UK spend about £780 per head per year on textiles and clothing, which amounts to 2.15 million tonnes in total or 35kg per person, of which one-eight is sent for re-use through charities and the rest is discarded. This shows ample scope to keep clothes for longer and to make them available for reuse.

Innovative clothing retailers have started to offer consumers the opportunity to return second hand clothing to a store for new product discount vouchers (e.g. M&S) or asked consumers to pledge to make their products last as long as possible, keep them for longer and buy second hand. Patagonia now sells second hand clothing in its stores as well as through Ebay through their Common Threads initiative.


  • Manufacturer-win: Brand loyalty, potential to explore reuse of materials to make new garments or textiles products
  • Retailer-win: Generates traffic to stores and can induce more sales
  • Consumer-win: Affordability, feel-good factor
  • Sustainability-win: potential absolute reduction in raw material use through reuse, reductions in landfill, consumer education about reuse



  • The Common Threads Partnership: reduce, reuse, recycle and reimagine
  • Shwopping: bringing old clothing items into an M&S store (even if not from M&S) each time you come to buy something new.


The concept of “win-win-win business models” is introduced in:

Bocken, N., Allwood, J. 2012. Strategies to reduce the carbon footprint of consumer goods by influencing stakeholders. Journal of Cleaner Production, 35, 118-129.   (Table 10 and Figure 3 include the win-win-win business models)