Asda launches second-hand fashion offering in 50 UK stores

Image: Preloved Vintage Wholesale

The retailer first began offering “pre-loved” garments in September 2019, as part of a month-long trial for the ‘Second-hand September’. Campaign. The aim of the pilot was to gauge consumer attitudes and test the practicalities of this business model, which is new for the supermarket.

Now, it has confirmed that the offer will be made available in 50 stores across the UK, including major locations in Brighton, Bristol, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Leeds. Asda is working with wholesaler Preloved Vintage Kilo, best known for its vintage pop-up and pay-by-the-kilo events, to source the clothing.

Clothing sold through the partnership will not only be from Asda’s George brand – the supermarket said in a statement that “vintage, retro and second-hand branded” goods will be on offer.

Asda’s head of sustainable sourcing for George, Mel Wilson, said that the company’s customers and colleagues are “passionate about us encouraging everyone in the UK to think about the issues of waste and how we can make fashion and textiles more circular so that we really can reduce the number of garments that go into landfill”.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates that, globally, a bin lorry of textiles – mainly clothing – is landfilled or burned every second. The UK is believed to be one of the biggest consumers and wasters of fashion in the EU. Issues largely exist because clothing production has outpaced developments in reuse and recycling systems, and because some fast-fashion retailers are selling garments that are not physically durable or that consumers are encouraged to keep.

Preloved Vintage Kilo’s managing director Steve Lynam has said that the company has prevented more than 800 tonnes of clothing from ending up in landfills or incinerators to date and that the Asda partnership will increase this figure “dramatically”.

Lynam said that the partnership “will help bring sustainable fashion to the mainstream”, in tandem with the growing success of resale platforms such as Depop, Vinted, Asos Marketplace and eBay.

Textiles 2030

Last week, Asda, along with more than 50 other organisations, signed up to WRAP’s new Textiles 2030 scheme.

The spin-off from WRAP’s existing UK Sustainable Textiles Action Plan requires participating brands and retailers to halve emissions by 2030, with a longer-term view to reaching net-zero. There are also requirements around circular economy models, relating to the durability, recyclability and use of recycled content across their product portfolios; the prevention of waste upstream and the expansion of reuse models.

Other member businesses include Asos, Boohoo, Marks and Spencer, New Look, Primark, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Ted Baker, JD Sports, BAM, Next, Pep&Co and GymShark.

MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) began interviewing Textiles 2030 participants yesterday (28 April), with questions focusing on the scheme’s overarching targets and challenges and opportunities with delivery.

The Committee is in the process of conducting its second ‘Fixing Fashion’ inquiry after all original recommendations were thrown out by the Government. Now, as part of the Resources and Waste Strategy, Defra staff are developing a string of new waste prevention measures for textiles, including universal recycling collections for households in England and changes to Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) requirements. EAC members hope, therefore, that updated recommendations will be better-recieved. 

Sarah George

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