The AK Foundation is going to be working with Canaan Trust, Three Peaks Africa and Playworks this summer, culminating at our Big Shakeout Festival, to provide you with good feelings in exchange for kit. You donate your no-longer-needed kit, we pass it on to those who need it most: youth groups and charities working in the outdoors, and organisations working with the homeless.
You will be giving your kit a new lease of life and helping those who need it most, whilst simultaneously being eco-AWESOME and reducing clothing to landfill, effectively prolonging the lifetime of your products. (Plus, we know that you have way too much kit stashed in your attic - think of the space you could free up).
Why are we running Continuum Project?
The simplest answer is, why not?
We have the logistics in place to get gear back to us and redistribute it to people who would really, truly benefit from it. At the same time, we can reduce textiles going to landfill and mitigate some of the environmental issues generated by production processes.
Walking through a city street on a winter's evening, the prevalence of homelessness is apparent. We saw the necessity and a solution: We have 1000s of customers with kit they no longer use, let's get it to those who are struggling to keep warm and dry! Through our work with the Alpkit Foundation, we have seen first-hand the vast kit shortage that many groups and charities working in the outdoors experience. If it's possible to get kit to those in need, do good things for the environment and get our customers involved at the same time, it would be silly not to!
Then there is the environmental aspect. The outdoor industry thrives because of the environment we live in, yet, counterintuitively, to produce the kit we need, we contribute to the environmental nasties that are the side effects of any sort of production.
One of the best methods to protect the environment from production processes is to use stuff for longer.Currently the annual consumption of clothing in the UK alone produces 1.8 million tonnes of waste andequates to38 million tonnes of CO2e being produced- that's the equivalent of every household in the UK driving a car for 6000 miles, every year!
Here at Alpkit, our Product Team are a conscientious bunch and aim to design products to be durable and extend their usable lifetime. We know that extending the average life of clothes by just three months per garmentwould give a 5-10% reduction in the carbon, water, and waste footprints.
But once the Product Team have done their bit, it’s over to you. A huge proportion of the environmental cost of clothing comes from how you use and dispose of it. Once the time finally comes for you to part ways with your garment, the main objective is to keep it out of landfill. Currently, in the UK, 350,000 tonnes of clothing goes to landfilleach year.
Recycling is a 'last resort' option. The energy cost of recycling textiles is relatively high so reusing, upcycling, and downcycling are far better options. This is where Continuum Project comes in!
How do I take part?
You can donate any outdoor garment (except underwear) in good, clean condition either by dropping it off at a donation point in our Hathersage or Ambleside stores, or by sending it to us at Alpkit HQ. For more information, give our Continuum Project support sticky a read.