Does your outdoor group need outdoor gear?

| Recycle Outdoor Gear | 19th June, 2014


If you represent or know of a UK community organisations, youth groups or charity that could benefit from a Gift Your Gear outdoor gear donation please contact Gift Your Gear.

If your organisation has received outdoor gear from Gift Your Gear in the past there is no need to reapply they will contact you.

The number of UK organisations that have benefited from Gift Your Gear is growing:

Gift Your Gear 2013 

Gift Your Gear 2014

We have worked with some fantastic groups during the last two years and learnt a great deal about their ongoing struggle to adequately equip all the young people involved.  It is important the donated outdoor gear gets to as many young people as possible. For this to happen we need  lots of groups located in all parts of the UK. So please let us know if we can help your group – Sarah Howcroft Founder Gift Your Gear

If you have any questions you may find some helpful information on Gift Your GearFrequently Asked Questions

If you can’t find the answer to your question please contact Gift Your Gear


Rohan Elite Rider Dog Coat Review

| Recycle Outdoor Gear | 12th April, 2014

Scrappy Nelson-Elite Rider Dog Coat

I was excited when I found out I was finally going to have a Rohan coat of my own. Now I know there a those out the who say dogs don’t need coats – and as a Border Terrier with a lovely double coat of fur I would normally agree, but let me explain. For the last year I have begun to suffer badly with environmental allergies. The short of it being that come Spring I am bathed in medicated shampoo if I’m lucky only twice a week. It’s not so bad and I’ve grown accustomed to it, but it does mean my coat doesn’t get the opportunity to produce its lovely natural oils meaning it has no natural waterproofing and I can get cold very quickly. But enough about me.

Elite Rider Dog Coat Elite Rider Dog Coat

My olds (you know – the ones I live with) have a lot of Rohan kit for every eventuality. This particular coat started out as an Elite Rider Jacket belonging to my old man. Following a Mountain Biking accident the jacket did sustain a small tear on the sleeve (and him a broken thumb) rendering it out of action, but this is where I got lucky. The ripped coat was passed to my friend Jo at Trampy Ted for a re-style. What came back was the first ever hand made bespoke Rohan Dog Elite Jacket and this is my review.

Elite Rider Dog Coat Elite Rider Dog Coat

So I’ve had coats before, mostly for winter time. Who can forget the lovely Barbour jacket – I rolled that in sheep poo on its inaugural outing. What I was missing was a lightweight waterproof, suited to the April showers without being padded or weighty and uncomfortable. The Elite is perfect. The lightweight material gives it a barely there feel which means it doesn’t irritate my already sensitive skin. It’s wind and waterproofing means my body is kept dry during any sudden downpours so no shivering or needing to turn back when the spring weather takes a sudden turn. It’s crease resistance means I can still look smart even if it’s been packed into their pocket, and the bright colour and reflective trim means I can be safe and seen even into Dusk and Darkness. Due to the original design of the Rider jacket and clever tailoring of Jo I even have a pocket for emergency noms. My new Rohan coat provides me with the practical protection my allergy shampooed coat lacks and without fuss. I plan to be wearing it for many years to come and adding to my collection should my olds have any other, how shall I put it – little accidents.

Scrappy Nelson




Scrappy Nelson



Gift Your Gear Starts Today

| Recycle Outdoor Gear | 2nd September, 2013

Gift Your Gear - Recycle Outdoor Gear

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

Follow us on Twitter Gift Your Gear

Tell your friends and family

Gift YOUR Gear!


Gift Your Gear Make Your Kit Count

| Recycle Outdoor Gear | 26th August, 2013

Gift Your Gear - Recycle Outdoor 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


Re-Cycle bikes to Africa

| Recycle Outdoor Gear | 6th July, 2013

bike recycle to africa

Stop Press:
Take your unwanted bikes into your local Halfords store between 11th and 16th July 2013.
Not only will you get 10% off a brand new bike, but your old bike will go to a good cause too, Halfords have partnered with Re~Cycle – a charity see the story below…

The great thing about being responsible for ROG is that you get to hear about some great services and initiatives going on to reuse and recycle outdoor gear. I recently came across a charity located in Colchester, Essex. Re~Cycle recycles unwanted bikes and sends the usable bikes for reuse in Africa. It’s a great service. They are always on the look out for unwanted bikes, volunteers, donations, and gifts-in-kind, like storage, haulage and shipping. Please read on…

Take an unwanted bike from the UK, ship it to a country where it is really needed and teach the local people the skills to fix and maintain it” Merlin Matthews, Founder ~ Re~Cycle ~ Bicycle Aid for Africa

Continue reading »

Old Crocs never die

| Recycle Outdoor Gear | 2nd July, 2013

reuse crocs

What can I do with my Crocs when they are no longer wearable?

The other day I realised that my well-worn Crocs had actually worn out. They have been fantastic. The sole had all but disappeared.

What could I do with my Crocs.

Can I recycle them?

I asked the company.

This was the reply…

“We are currently working on a recycling program that will ensure a better use of worn Crocs™ shoes. In the meantime we don’t advise that any Crocs™ shoes to be placed in designated recycle for ‘plastic’ containers, as Crocs™ patented Croslite™ material is not a plastic”

OK I had to be creative. I was sitting on the house step looking at my plants with my Crocs right next to a plant pot. That’s when it struck me.

Crocs make ideal planters with an added benefit they will go on and on season after season as home for flowers.

They are located  in a sheltered spot so I might see if they can delight the eye for all four seasons.

Job done.

Read more on Crocs Sustainability Report

Keep up with recycling and reuse of Outdoor Gear with ROG on Facebook and Twitter


Recycle Week and the Outdoors

| Recycle Outdoor Gear | 17th June, 2013

Recycle Outdoor Gear

Recycle Week is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year.

Taking place from 17-23 June, the week has an overarching theme of ‘Recycling – at home and away’ and will focus on metals, plastics, packaging, textiles and food waste.

There is lots of information on what is happening in your area on this link including a great explanation on those confusing packaging symbols

Whilst ROG  is all about reusing outdoor gear we do have stories on recycling on ROGBlog.

Often Reuse and Recycling are considered to be the same thing.

If you put a reusable shirt or pair of trousers into a textile bin are you reusing or recycling?

We have these two explanations in our Glossary

Reuse – The act of using again. Means what it says. Reusing a product delivers a far greatest gain for the environment than recycling that product until it has reached the end of its life. Ebay and Gumtree have done much to develop reuse in outdoor gear.

Recycle – To put or pass through a cycle again, as for further treatment.

We do need more stories from organisations that produce products for use in the outdoors or working in the outdoors on what they are up to with regard to both recycling and reuse. If you come across any please let us know in the comments below





Are you dedicated to reusing outdoor gear?

| Recycle Outdoor Gear | 18th May, 2013

Reuse second hand outdoor gear

This story caught my eye…

To highlight the positive style and environmental potentials of reusing, Christina Dean, Founder of Redress, swore to wear nothing but discarded clothes for an entire year. The 365 Challenge, which began on January 1st of this year, Founder Christina Dean is now five months into the challenge, and has chronicled her entire journey on Instagram. Read more

This got me thinking what if we feature stories from the many people who love the great outdoors, the kit and are dedicated to reusing gear. There must be loads of stories out there. If you buy and reuse gear, or maybe you are wearing hand me downs or a Gift Your Gear donation please let us know. If you are keeping your kit going by repairing  please share your story.

Please send a paragraph and a photo or drop us a comment below.

Email and photos to ROG or join us on Facebook or Twitter






Patagonia eBay UK and Reuse

| Recycle Outdoor Gear | 13th May, 2013

used outdoor gear sold on recycle outdoor gear

Patagonia have linked up with eBay UK to enables sellers of used Patagonia outdoor clothing to resell their items in the UK.

The aim is to encourage customers to go into their wardrobes, find the Patagonia garments they don’t currently need, and list them on eBay to continue their useful life. Having taken the Patagonia Common Threads Pledge.

Whilst selling used outdoor gear is as old as the virtual hills. All industries need flagship brands that push out the envelopes of innovation and new thinking,. The biggest one that come to mind outside our industry is, or was, Apple for innovation.  Patagonia’s proven commitment to the 3 R’s and greener commerce is tremendous.  In November 2011, Patagonia and eBay Inc. joined forces to launch a new marketplace for customers to buy and sell used Patagonia gear in the United States. Today, with more than 38,000 items resold in the first year of the program.

It’s a lovely idea and I wish Patagonia and eBay well in their mission. Visit the eBay store

One question…

Why only used Patagonia product?

This an interesting question.

Recycling and the great outdoors

| Recycle Outdoor Gear | 10th December, 2012

ROG - recycling and the great outdoors

Reuse, Recycling and the great outdoors

Before we look at the great outdoors we should perhaps take a look at the fashion industry because certain brands are making great strides with regard to at least 2R’s.

Reduce, reuse and recycle are three ‘R’ words we hear a lot about.

This tweet just caught my eye…

Did you hear? H&M wants to pay YOU to recycle?

H&M the fashion chain is putting its money where its mouth is. In February 2013, they’re initiating a recycling program where you get a discount card (if you spend over a certain amount) for every bag of used clothing your drop off at an H&M store, reducing the price of your new purchases while facilitating the reuse of your used garments.They are referring to is as their Global Clothes Collecting Initiative’. The bigger news about this one is they are making it available to customers in all their outlets across the globe. Customers in all 48 of the markets the company operates in will be able to hand in used garments for recycling.

Now that is impressive.

Before that M&S developed their Shwopping initiative. Read More

A good question on Huffington Past recently was

Do you know what other fast-fashion brand is tidying up its act?

Fact in the UK there are 350,000tonnes of clothing being sent to landfill each year.With a further 70,000tonnes destined for incineration. There will be lots of good reusable outdoor gear in this.

So back to the UK outdoor industry…

Think of any of the 3 R’s  when it comes to outdoor gear and you can’t help but gravitate towards Patagonia.They are market leaders in 3R implementation and customer acceptance and have developed their own 5thR  –  Reduce, Repair, Reuse, Recycle and Reimagine

Has this stimulated others to follow?  

The short answer is yes but very slowly. So slow it’s almost undetectable.
This side of the Atlantic things are even slower. There are exceptions of course:

Paramo Developing Recycling Reuse and Repair Read more  

Rohan have found their own individual way with a logical development of meaningful reuse with Gift Your Gear and ROG

Other brands have tried individual programs. Some of the stories we covered on ROGblog

Tiso... Read more 

Berghaus  Read more 

Will they do it again?

Cicerone – New Guides for Old with Guide Book Exchange Scheme  Read more

Green Peak Gear collect used climbing gear and remake it into new products. The products they currently make include rope rugs, dog leads and skipping ropes. Read More

Please drop us a comment if you know of a recycling or reuse scheme by any outdoor company in the UK we haven’t covered and let’s try and create the definitive list.

Really appreciate your help.




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Gift Your Gear is an independent nationwide initiative that provides outdoor clothing and equipment to UK community organisations, youth groups and charities working with young people in the outdoors.

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