Textile recycling firm Upparel is gearing up to launch its garment collection service in New Zealand, with the business’ B2B offer set to launch on December 1 and its customer-facing solution to launch in early 2022.
Upparel takes unwanted clothing and textiles from consumers and businesses across Australia. 65 per cent of the items received are fit-to-wear and are passed on to charities to help clothe the needy, while the remaining 35 per cent is assessed for upcycling into new items, or recycled into new materials.
According to founder Michael Elias, the move was driven by a the business’ partners in Australia needing the service in New Zealand as well.
“We want to ensure that we’re doing the right thing, globally,” Elias told Inside Retail.
“So our partners in New Zealand have already committed their dormant, unwanted stock, and places like the Salvation Army have committed to give what they don’t deem sellable.”
In the last few years, Upparel went from being a completely consumer-facing brand to one that sees 80 per cent of its business coming from other businesses looking to deal with their own textile waste.
“The interest and demand is there, and the need for solutions is absolutely there,” Elias said.
And, moving forward, retailers that are using Upparel to donate unwanted textiles will be able to have a dedicated collection bin put in their stores for staff to utilise – diverting unwanted returns, dead or faulty stock, or even customer donations, away from landfill.