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Clothes recycling scheme

The Charity has run a successful clothes recycling scheme since 2009, in partnership with fire and rescue services and textile recycling companies across the UK, and this year almost £800,000 was raised for our Charity. With the help of your donations we can continue to increase this figure.

Donate your old clothes

Donate your old clothes

Our recycling partners manage our recycling initiative across the UK, with the following donations coming straight to the Charity from each of these sites:

• Clothes banks on fire stations: £220 per tonne
• Clothes banks on other community sites: £150 per tonne
• Clothes bags for school collections: £100 per tonne
• Book Banks on fire stations: £50 per tonne

Find your nearest recycling bank

What you can donate: Clothes Banks

  • Adult and children’s clothing
  • Socks
  • Coats
  • Underwear
  • Paired shoes
  • Handbags
  • Linen

Please NO bric-a-brac, plastic, toys or electrical items please.

Frequently Asked Questions

My local clothing bank is full what should I do with my bag of clothes?

Please do not leave your clothes beside the bank or anywhere else on fire station grounds. If the bank is full please call the phone number displayed on the textile bank to report the full bank, and then please try again over the next couple of days.

Where is my closest recycling bank?

Please click on the button below:
Find your nearest recycling bank

What if I accidentally post my keys or wallet into the bank?!

Please telephone the number on the bank and arrange a mutually convenient time for them to open it. Please do not attempt to climb or reach into the bank.

What happens to the donated clothes?

The donated clothing, shoes, handbags and textiles are collected by our recycling partners and wearable clothing is re-used, usually sold in under-developed countries. Any textiles that are un-wearable are recycled into such items as industrial wipers and car upholstery and also re-used in the production of many other items. The income generated for The Fire Fighters Charity from textile recycling helps fund the physical, psychological and community support which we provide for those in the firefighting community who are need.

How do we get a textile bank on our fire station or community site?

We work with all of our UK Fire & Rescue Services to identify and agree fire stations that are safe and suitable to have a textile bank sited. A risk assessment is carried out and a textile bank is only placed once approval from all parties has been established. Sometimes it is not possible to place a textile bank, but in these cases every effort is made to identify alternative locations where possible. For further information please contact us via the button below.

Request a clothes recycling bank

Do you take textile off-cuts and remnants?

Unfortunately we cannot accept textile off-cuts or remnants at our recycling banks.

I have a lot of stained clothes, will these be accepted?

We prefer the clothing to not be stained or damaged, but we can take a very small amount that is damaged or stained. Any unwearable textiles will be recycled and re-used into other items where possible.

When it says I can donate “linen” does that include bed covers, sheets and curtains?

Yes, we can take sheets, duvet covers and curtains just as long it’s not in bulk quantities.

Do I have to donate my clothing in plastic bags? I’m trying to reduce the amount of plastic I use.

We do recommend using plastic bags to protect the items. The bags are collected and also recycled. However, if you would prefer to donate them un-bagged this is fine too.

If I have brand new clothing or shoes with tags attached, should I donate to your textile bank or would I make more money for the Charity if I sell them?

All our clothing collected is done on weight, so for brand new individual items you could potentially make a little more money for the charity by selling them. However, our recycling partners do rely on good quality unwanted items being donated, so this decision is up to you. Whatever you decide, we are incredibly grateful for your support.

We also have a toolkit of posters and images that you can use to promote your textile bank in your community and online.

Clothes Recycling Toolkit