We are Salvation Army Trading Company (SATCoL) and as the trading arm of our charity, a large part of our work is in reuse and recycling. We encourage the reuse and recycling of textiles and other items through our nationwide network of charity shops, donation centres and clothing banks.
Last year alone, we collected 250 million items, including 65,000 tonnes of textiles, and diverted these donated items to good uses. Combined, our work has seen 440,000 tonnes of avoided emissions in the year April 2022 to April 2023.
SATCoL continues to invest in ground breaking new technology and modern processes to achieve our shared goals of helping protect our planet.
In 2021 we installed FibersortTM, a technology which automatically sorts garments by their fibre type. Located at our purpose-built processing centre in Kettering, the technology is a first in the UK. Last year, Fibersort sorted over 500,000 worn-out items.
In 2023, we announced our new joint venture with corporate wear specialists Project Plan B. The venture, known as Project Re:claimTM , is the world’s first textile polyester recycling technology that will take worn (post-consumer) garments and recycle them back into reusable materials at commercial scale.
Both Fibersort and Project Re:claim support our ambitions to become the first charity in the UK to have a Fibre Farm which will aim to supply second hand recycled garments back into the supply chain and thus reduce the burden on the planet’s finite resources.
We take the responsibility of repurposing the donations we receive from members of the public and our partners seriously. SATCoL has led the way in raising standards across the textiles reuse and recycling sector.
We always provide for those in need first and each year we distribute tens of thousands of donated goods, at no cost, directly to people through our shops, via our parent charity or other charities and community groups that come to us for help.
Items we are not able to sell in our shops are sold to trusted companies, ensuring that second-hand items are made available at affordable prices wherever they are most needed or are recycled for other purposes. We undertake regular Code of Conduct audits with our partners and we are a founder member of TRUST.
TRUST is a sector-wide collaboration dedicated to boosting standards in textile reuse and recycling. It sets standards around business practices and professionalism, ethical working, health and safety, transport and the environment. TRUST has the backing of more than 2,500 charity shops across the United Kingdom, and was formed in 2019 from representatives of the Charity Retail Association, Textile Recycling Association, charity retail chains, academics, waste reduction charities, textile recyclers, and input from the Environment Agency, the WISH (Waste Industry Safety and Health) Forum and the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM).
The focus for TRUST is for UK based companies, and SATCoL’s Code of Conduct is an audit tool that applies to all customers outside of the UK buying used goods from SATCoL.
Our objective is that the downstream handling of our goods is in line with our overall mission of sustainability, requiring customers to adhere to the following principles:
Ethical handling of goods through the entire value chain
Minimising the remaining waste fraction