Gift Your Gear… Don’t Ditch Your Gear

| Recycle Outdoor Gear | 3rd March, 2014

donate your unwanted outdoor clothing and equipment

Born to be worn, not stitched to be ditched

In wardrobes, attics and garages, long forgotten items of outdoor clothing and equipment are gathering dust. The great outdoors is where they belong.

Gift Your Gear is an award-winning nationwide initiative that provides outdoor clothing and equipment to UK community organisations, youth groups and charities working with young people in the outdoors. Founded by Sarah Howcroft, Gift Your Gear encourages people to donate outdoor gear they no longer want or need.

Partnering the unwanted with the needed

Gift Your Gear - Partnering the unwanted with the needed

Young people need to get outdoors for their physical and emotional well-being. The cost of outdoor clothing and equipment is often a barrier to participation.

First impressions count and It’s hard to enjoy your early experiences in the outdoors when you’re cold, wet and uncomfortable. Having the right clothing and equipment helps to ensure that outdoor experiences are safe and enjoyable.

“The benefit of Gift Your Gear is best defined as providing an opportunity to all so as to ensure that ability to pay for kit is not the over-riding criteria for participation.” – Laurence Parsons

The outdoor 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.

Donate your unwanted outdoor clothing

Gift Your Gear has partnered with Rohan, the award-winning outdoor and travel clothing company. Drop off your unwanted waterproofs, fleeces, outdoor trousers, insulated jackets, hats and gloves regardless of brand including children’s clothing at any Rohan Shop during March and in return Rohan would like to offer you 15% off a full priced purchase made the same day as a qualifying Gift Your Gear donation. 

Rohan has high street shops from Inverness to Truro, you’re sure to find one near you. Whether it’s to drop off your unwanted outdoor gear or to browse the new spring range you’re guaranteed to get a warm welcome. Find your nearest Rohan shop.

Gift YOUR Gear it belongs outdoors

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Tell friends and family about 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

 

Gift Your Gear a Resounding Success

| Recycle Outdoor Gear | 30th October, 2012

Gift Your Gear, Rohan and Community Links

A Bridge to the Outdoors
Rohan the UK based adventure clothing company recently partnered with ROG and the Gift Your Gear initiative. Rohan asked their customers to take unwanted usable outdoor trousers, fleece and jackets, regardless of brand, to their nearest Rohan Shop and in return offered a discount on new Rohan clothing.

Gift Your Gear, Rohan and Community Links

Gift Your Gear proved to be a tremendous success with thousands of items of outdoor clothing donated.

Gift Your Gear, Rohan and Community Links

Gift Your Gear 
The outdoor gear donated will make a real difference to the local community organisations, youth groups and charities who receive it. Enabling others to benefit from life changing experiences in the great outdoors, regardless of their circumstance. Outdoor gear donated to Gift Your Gear is reused for its original purpose.

Gift Your Gear, Rohan and Community Links

Sarah Howcroft founder of ROG
“If an outdoor jacket is worn for a couple of years then ends up forgotten in the back of a wardrobe its useful life is never achieved. Most outdoor gear will last much longer than most people want or need. If that jacket is donated through Gift Your Gear to a local community organisation, youth group or charity working in the outdoors. Not only is the useful life of the jacket extended but also another person gets to experience the joy of good gear”

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Listen Back interview with founder of ROG

| Uncategorized | 13th October, 2012

Podcasts on Recycle Outdoor Gear

Listen Back – to a recent interview with our founder Sarah Howcroft talking about ROG

A big thank you to WalksAroundBritain.co.uk for the interview

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ROG has been nominated in TGO Awards in the Environmental or access initiative of the year category.

Voting is still open to select the winner

 

World Environment Day

| Recycle Outdoor Gear | 4th June, 2012

UNEP World Environment Day on 5th June

World Environment Day on 5th June,

Celebrating World Environment Day is about the inspirational power of us

Pan global celebration days can sometimes be lost when it comes down to our own personal hopes and actions..

In some ways at first glance that is exactly what comes to mind with World Environment Day on 5th June.

On this day businesses across the world pledge their positive environmental actions for the annual World Environment Day on 5th June

The 2012 theme for World Environment Day is Green Economy.

What exactly is a green economy?

‘Green economy’  a couple of words that is being used more and more.

Practically speaking, a Green Economy is one whose growth in income and employment is driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution, enhance energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. These investments need to be catalyzed and supported by targeted public expenditure, policy reforms and regulation changes… from http://www.unep.org/wed/

Sill not a lot of individual relevancy but the phrase will be added to our Green Glossary of Outdoor Gear

Celebrating World Environment Day is about the inspirational power of us. Our action collectively are multiplied into an exponential force that can bring positive change.

ROG is relevant using ROG to reuse and use again all outdoor gear is a positive individual action towards a more sustainable great outdoors.

Don’t forget to like on Facebook and follow us on Twitter please.

Sarah Howcroft

 

Recycle Outdoor Gear (ROG)

Pass on unwanted outdoor gear to someone who can use it.

Recycle Outdoor Gear (ROG)

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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