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We get a number of enquiries every day regarding the how, what, when and where around recycling of all outdoor gear. A category that we struggle to help with is recycling of tents.
So when we do get enquiries about reusing and recycling tents our ears go up.
This was the case with Jess, who contacted us recently. A fashion student in London creating her final collection based around the idea of mountaineering using recycled fabrics. She is hoping to make jackets out of recycled tents. So guess what she needs tents!
We asked her for some more details on her project and back came Jess’s own explanation on her motivation for her project…
The collection follows the happenings of a group of girl guides and their activities. All forced to wear the same uniform they make a statement, even if they don’t realise they’re making one. Though uniform should enforce utility and sameness the standard size only helps to make the silhouette more varied and pronounced, exploring the idea of clothes being too big, leaving room to grow in to them, or too short, having grown out of them too quickly. More interested in creating their own adventures than those planned for them their imaginations and habitat begin to shape their aesthetic, merging starched silhouettes with bagginess and dishevelment. The collection also draws inspiration from the images taken from the first ascent of Mount Everest, which adds key details to the collection, and an idea of practical clothing being created in an imaginative way.
The idea of utility combined with playful imagination and adventure sees the coming together of practical details, such as drawstrings and boxy pockets, with recycled fabrics. Space blankets and climbing ropes lose their functionality with their purpose altered through the imagination of the gang. Recycled tents are reinvented to create oversized anoraks and parka coats.
The focus of the collection is to promote the idea of reuse and recycling within the fashion industry but in a way that isn’t too obvious. A garment appeals to the customer because it is beautiful, not because it is ethical. Therefore the garment should be exquisitely made and then cherished because it stands for something greater than just aesthetics.
If you have any unwanted tents please contact Recycle Outdoor Gear.
If you know of any tent upcycling, recycling or reuse projects please let us know.
These are the other projects that have expressed interest on the subject in the past:
Could you be a Gift Your Gear Beneficiary in 2014
This year has been a very busy year for Gift Your Gear, ending in the fantastic award from The Great Outdoors Magazine
In order to make sure they continue to further the Gift Your Gear initiative they have just announces a new call for potential beneficiaries of quality used outdoor gear.
Do you represent or know of a UK-based charity or community group working with young people in the outdoors that need outdoor gear? Please take a moment to check the Gift Your Gear Guide Lines for potential beneficiaries. If you are happy with this please contact us as soon as possible.
Sarah Howcroft founder Gift Your Gear told Recycle Outdoor Gear
“2014 is gong to be a busy year for Gift Your Gear it is important we get to know our new beneficiaries to make sue we provide them with gear that is suitable for all their needs and help make the very best of the donated gear. To do this we need as much time as possible. So anyone that is interested please let us know as soon as possible”
Gift Your Gear has some fantastic beneficiaries built up over the last year. If your organisation has received outdoor gear from Gift Your Gear in the past there is no need to contact Gift Your Gear they will be contacting you soon.
Black Friday, a day when every outdoor retailer in The States is trying to get people to buy more gear.
In the middle of all this Patagonia is encouraging people to keep their wallets in their pockets and use the stuff they have.
They have releasing Worn Wear, a short film which celebrates the stuff people already own and the quality of the life people can enjoy.It takes you to an off-the-grid surf camp in Baja, Mexico; a family’s maple syrup harvest in Contoocook, Vermont; an organic farm in Ojai, California; and into the lives of a champion skier, a National Geographic photographer, and a legendary Alpinist. Worn Wear also features exclusive interviews with Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard.
Worn Wear will be released online on Black Friday and in 15 Patagonia retail stores. in The States., Show up at one of the chosen public venues, and you’ll get to sample Patagonia’s new California Route beer made by New Belgium Brewery.
Patagonia’s new gear repair program also launches on Black Friday, in partnership with iFixit. The companies are publishing a series of free repair guides, which include basic sewing lessons. So while you’re recovering on the couch from too much turkey and pumpkin pie, stitch up that old pack or jacket—and then go use them on Black Friday instead of shopping for new gear. Read more…
Don’t forget to check out the latest ROGads
Question: When you lose a glove or mitten what do you do with the one you still have?
Answer: You could send your lonely glove or mitten to a Glove Love who accepts donations of single gloves and mittens; cleans them; pairs them with other unattached gloves/mittens; then sells the mismatched pairs to raise funds for its green-awareness activities.
To buy a newly matched pair of gloves or mittens
To donate your single lonely glove or mitten
The initiative is already being supported by companies such as Transport For London and London’s Natural History Museum, who have extensive lost property offices.
Other mitten or glove reuse ideas? Please use the comment box below
Then there are socks what happens to the one sock after the wash where do all the other socks go?
Don’t forget to check out the latest ROGads
Would you ‘Lease a fleece’?
The concept of hiring items to wear is not new. How many of us have hire that special wedding gear or maybe ski or surf gear. So why not other gear?
The ‘Lease A Fleece’ initiative by Mud Jeans centres around a sweatshirt/hoodie partially made from recycled organic jeans that anyone can lease for a flat, low monthly rate. Mud Jeans is a young Dutch fashion brand that believes its innovative concept fits seamlessly into the current trend where using products responsibly is more important than ownership. Mud Jeans started with ‘Lease A Jeans’ which launched earlier this year.Under this scheme clothes are never thrown away as old jeans are collected and recovered so that all the raw materials and recycled fibres can be remanufactured into new clothes.
You can either pay upfront for the fleece or in monthly instalments. Upfront, the customer pays 100 euros, including a 20 euro deposit, and can continue to wear the sweatshirt or hoody as long as he or she wants.
When the sweatshirt is returned , the customer gets their deposit back in the form of a discount on their next purchase.
If a customer chooses to pay in instalments, an entry fee of 20 euros is paid. Then a lease fee of 5 euros per month is applied, to a total of 80 euros.
At the end of the lease period the customer has three options: they can continue to wear the fleece, return the sweatshirt and get back their deposit; or switch to a new fashion item for an additional fee of only 7.5 euros.
The fleece will initially only be made available to investors on the crowdfunding platform, OnePlanetCrowd.com.
Whilst this garment is not the blend of fleece used for serious outdoor garments it is an interesting.
More information about Mud Jeanes
So Would you ‘Lease a fleece’?
Gift Your Gear sent us their news…
We are pleased to announce we now have 57 locations in the UK where you can donate your unwanted outdoor gear.
We are very grateful to our last Gift Your Gear partner Rohan, the award-winning outdoor clothing company for making all their shops available as collection points for Gift Your Gear donations.
If you have used outdoor gear, regardless of brand, you no longer need please consider dropping into a Rohan Shop. Your gear will be returned to Gift Your Gear and donated to a Gift Your Gear approved beneficiary.
Please join us saying a really big thank you to Rohan.
This is the first for any UK outdoor company. A comprehensive collection system for all used outdoor gear, regardless of brand.
Well done Rohan.
Rohan Shops are located all over the length and breadth of the UK, from Inverness to Truro. By making these available to the outdoor community Rohan has opened up so many possibilities for Gift Your Gear beneficiaries. It is a very generous offer from Rohan and illustrates their commitment ,not only their customers but the outdoor industry in general.
Gift Your Gear – Donation Locations
Gift Your Gear – Donate by Post 24/7
Gift Your Gear – September 2013 has been tremendous.
The substantial amount of used outdoor gear donated has enable Gift Your Gear to support many more community organisations, youth groups and charities working with young people in the outdoors. Enabling others to benefit from life changing experiences in the great outdoors, regardless of their circumstance.
It’s hard to enjoy the great outdoors when you’re cold, wet and uncomfortable. Having the right clothing and equipment helps to ensure that outdoor experiences are safe and enjoyable.
Gift Your Gear – Beneficiaries – September 2013
Alfrey Activity Centre – Broadwater
Addiction Dependency Solutions (ADS) – Staffordshire
Aspatra Dreamscheme – Wigton
Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Centre, UK Youth – Hampshire
Brathay Trust – Cumbria
Buckie Community High School – Aberdeen
Child Deaf Project – Middlesbrough
Climbing Out – Shropshire
ContinU Plus Academy – Kidderminster
Crankonkshaw Fold Farm – Rossendale
Crossroads Youth and Community Association – Glasgow
Devon Young Explorers – Devon
Essex Boys and Girls Clubs – Essex
Fix The Fells – Cumbria
Follifoot – Harrogate
Grimsby Cadets – Grimsby
Grimsby DofE - Grimsby
Grow Theatre – Sheffield
Harrogate Horticap – Harrogate
Harperden Expedition Club – Hertfordshire
Inclusion Hampshire – Hampshire
Kids Konnect – Middlesburgh
Lightweight Walks Project – Northamptonshire
Linx Project – Middlesburgh
London Youth – Buckinghamshire
Low Mills Outdoor Centre – North Yorkshire
Mind Bradford – Bradford
My Big Adventure – Worcester
NStep – Kettering
North Yorkshire Youth – North Yorkshire
Open Country – Harrogate
Park Mains High School – Renfrewshire
Renfrewshire DofE - Renfrewshire
Ringsfield Eco Centre – Suffolk
Royston Youth Action – Glasgow
Ross-shire Girl Guides- Ross-shire
Salvation Army – Perth
Scouts Atherstone - Warwickshire
Sundorne Educational Centre – Shrewsbury
Ten Tours – Devon
Torquay DofE - Torquay
The Connection at St Martin’s – London
The Factory Youth Zone – Manchester
The Hope Project – Cornwall
WESC Foundation – Devon
Westlands School – Torquay
Widehorizons Ty’ n y Berth Corris Uchaf – Powys
Woodrow High House – Buckinghamshire
Young Bristol – Bristol
More to follow…
Gift Your Gear supports local community organisations, youth groups and charities.
Do you have used outdoor clothing and equipment you no longer want or need that still has life in it?
Gift Your Gear is a nationwide initiative that provides outdoor clothing and equipment to local community organisations, youth groups and charities working with young people in the outdoors.
Gift Your Gear it makes a difference. The gear you donate will make a real difference to the community organisations, youth groups and charities who receive it. Enabling others to benefit from life changing experiences in the great outdoors regardless of their circumstances. You get to reclaim your storage space, and selflessly helping someone feels good.
This September Gift Your Gear has partnered with Rohan, the award-winning outdoor and travel clothing company.
Take your unwanted (but in good condition) outdoor clothing to any Rohan shop during the month of September, that’s all outdoor clothing, walking boots and includes children’s clothing regardless of brand and receive a 15% discount to spend on any new item in the shop on the day.
The gear you donate will help local community organisations, youth groups and charities working with young people in the outdoors. Ensuring that their experiences are safe and enjoyable.
Spread the word
Like us on Facebook Gift YourGear
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Tell your friends and family
Gift YOUR Gear!
Make Your Kit Count
You can buy packs recycled from discarded nylon fishing nets, plastic telemark ski boots crafted from the oil of castor plants, no-stink bodywear knitted with yak wool, and surfboards laid up with hemp instead of fibreglass. You can get bamboo framed sunglasses, rain shells laminated with recycled polyester drink bottles, carbon-neutral sleeping pads, and skis made with 100 percent renewable energy. All of which is wonderful, because it telegraphs the message that we can find innovative solutions to the environmental crises that confront us.
Sometimes, however, the answer to vexing questions already lies right under our noses. And doesn’t require the intervention of complex technological fixes. Oft overlooked remedies to our ills can be both simple and age-old. In this instance it is: Reuse.
If reuse is the solution, what’s the problem? Simply put: Getting young people outdoors.
Although Sport England report an increase in British adolescents taking up sport, UK Youth cite a BBC study that found 16 percent of British adolescents, between 12 and 15, are considered overweight or obese. This is not only potentially debilitating for those youngsters affected, it also impacts on national wellbeing. Physical inactivity is said to cost English National Health Service providers over £900 million, in a single year.
In making the case for the inclusion of physical activity in young people’s lives, the British Heart Foundation points out that physical activity participation by children and adolescents can significantly enhance their self-esteem and self-concept, while being effective at reducing depression, anxiety, psychological distress and emotional disturbance.
Sport England tracks 100 sports, and reports that of April 2013 engagement in the outdoor sports categories of Cycling, Canoeing, Mountaineering [includes hillwalking and climbing], Sailing and Snowsports has either remained static, or decreased, compared the same survey five years ago.
The Children’s Society have noted that “it has been established that outdoor play provides on of the best forms of exercise for children of all ages.” In their 2012 Good Childhood Report they identified six things that kids need for their wellbeing. One of those was: Opportunity to take part in positive activities to thrive. They then cited three ways youth could get this opportunity, two of which were: affordable activities in their local area, and access to outdoor spaces for play.
Which brings us back to reuse.
Our young people need to get outdoors for their physical, emotional and intellectual health. We need to help them by making access to the outdoors affordable. The sun doesn’t always shine. The outdoors can be cold, wet and windy. Quality clothing and equipment enhances our enjoyment of the outdoor experience. The majesty of nature is downright difficult to appreciate when it seems as if the wind is slicing you like a knife. And feeling like a sodden dishrag is unlikely to inspire a novice hillwalker or kayaker to repeat the exercise.
In our collective attics, garages, lock-ups and the like, we have one of the keys to getting youth outdoors.
Preloved, but currently unused, waterproofs, fleeces, thermal underwear, boots, packs, etc are gathering dust. When they should be gathering mountain miles. They were born to be worn, not stitched to be ditched. The wilds are where they belong, not cooped up in some dark wardrobe or dusty cardboard box.
Gift Your Gear gratefully accepts your waterproof jackets and overtrousers, fleece, insulated jackets, trousers, gloves, hats, boots, not forgetting children’s outdoor clothing and then forwards it on to underfunded organisations, who are passionate about putting the wind in the hair and the sparkle in the eye of British youth.
Earlier this year Gift Your Gear partnered with Rohan, the outdoor and travel clothing retailer for a month long event which saw 6,000 items of used outdoor gear donated via Rohan’s 60 UK Shops. 50 charities then put those donations into their organisation’s outdoor equipment gear pool so the maximum number of people would benefit from the benevolence of its original owners.
Sarah Howcroft, founder of Gift Your Gear, thinks that is a brilliant result. But she feels it just scratches the surface. Her aspiration now is to see Gift Your Gear donate one million items of used outdoor gear.
That might sound like a bridge too far. But Sarah Howcroft is not one easily dissuaded. As co-founder of Rohan 40 years ago, she is very familiar with overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds. For example, when UK retailers wouldn’t embrace their pioneering softshell and lightweight travel clothing, Sarah and her late husband, Paul, opened their own chain of stores to get their gear into the hands of mountaineers and walkers. Now she is determined to get reused, yet quality kit, onto youth, and get them outdoors.
Her new vision make not be so far fetched, After all Sport England figure that over 2 million Britons take part in the five core outdoor sports categories. The UK Association of National Park Authorities reckon their national parks receive over 71 million annual visitors. The British Mountaineering Council have over 75,000 members on their books, as of their 2012 annual report. Ramblers lay claim to over 110,000 members and the Long Distance Walking Association more than 7,000. Out of such a pool of participants there is bound to be one million non-active jackets, beanies, overtrousrs and the like.
And there is no better way for a piece of kit to leave its former owner’s hands. The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs led Sustainable Clothing Roadmap industry initiative found that the best end of life options for clothing was reuse. It performed best in energy and waste /resource terms compared to other options.
That’s because every tonne of discarded textiles reused saves 20 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. More reused clothing means less new clothing required, hence a reduction in virgin materials extraction, for example, in Uzbekistan, 85 percent of the Aral Sea has disappeared as a result of drainage for cotton production.
The United Kingdom spends over £20 billion on clothes every year. Yet around one million tonnes of clothing waste is discarded every year in the UK. Only 16 percent of UK textile waste is currently reused or recycled, with 63 percent ending up in landfill. It has been estimated that Brits wear an item of clothing on average for less than a third of its useful lifespan.
Gift Your Gear is a true win-win. Youth are properly and economically provided with quality clothing to better enjoy their outdoor experience (and research show that the earlier someone forms a positive connection with the natural world the more likely they are to care for it in later life. Being second hand this gear is an environmentally benign as it can be. Your home is decluttered, and your heart warmed by the good deed done. Go on: make your kit count!
Warren McLaren curates a web museum of vintage outdoor gear. He previously designed the relaunch of Berghaus’s Extrem mountaineering apparel, and co-managed a community re-use centre. He currently manages program design for an outdoor education organisation.
Find out more about Gift Your Gear
We search the world for stories about recycling, reuse and upcycling of outdoor gear. This is a great story about two people that are doing just that.
Started by husband and wife team Sam Palmer and Jennifer Feller, ReFleece is a small design company creating products from a new kind of upcycled felt. The felt is made from reclaimed Patagonia® fleece, collected through Patagonia’s Common Threads™ program, then pressed into Kindle™ and iPad™ cases.
“We met each other folding fleece at the Patagonia Boston store, 17 years ago. Sam was studying aeronautical engineering at Northeastern, and I was starting a renewable energy nonprofit. We were both working retail to make some money, but we fell in love with the way that Patagonia really lives its mission. We have a LOT of old fleece lying around our house! Sam worked with plastics when he was looking for new surfboard materials, so he realized that we could use it to mold new products. He made the first ones in our oven, cooling them in the molds in the backyard. We’re so happy that folks are looking for reclaimed and upcycled products – we have really been bowled over by the response that people have to ReFleece.” Jennifer Feller
Although buying recycled plastic and fleece products does cut down on the oil needed to produce virgin products, the typical recycling process itself can be energy intensive. The ReFleece process, by contrast, avoids the shipping and high-heat re-melting typically used in fleece recycling, in favor of a lower-energy pressing process. Cases are manufactured entirely in the U.S. Each case is unique, and features the original colors, and even the original seam patterns, of the Patagonia jacket or sweater. The cases are lightweight, durable, water resistant, and can be thrown right in the recycling bin to “close the loop” again.
Palmer is a designer and surfer, with a long-time relationship with Patagonia. He helped to design their first surfboard, prompted by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard to look for a smaller environmental footprint than traditional surfboards. After earning a masters degree in product design from Stanford, Palmer joined design firm IDEO, where he designed products for companies like Xyliss, Target, and Proctor & Gamble.
Feller is a former science teacher and environmental activist, with experience as a consultant to non-profit start ups. She and Palmer combine their passion for sustainability with a deep belief in the importance of great design.
ReFleece cases are currently sold online, and in several design boutiques in New York City and the Boston area. They’ll be sold by Patagonia stores beginning in late summer.
Contact Jennifer and Sam at ReFleece.com
Update. A lovely new video from Jennifer and Sam