Continuum: Circular Economy

"just find the feeling ... pass it on"


We make it easy for you to donate your unwanted gear directly to those that need it most.

Last year we found a home for 5 tonnes of used outdoor gear.

Its simple: you send us any brand of unwanted outdoor clothing and equipment by dropping it off in store or using our returns process. We'll then give it to someone that needs it through Alpkit Foundation and our network of charitable partners.

We guarantee that nothing goes to landfill.

Thank you to our customers for making this happen. And thank you too to the Alpkit Foundation for their support.


What can I donate?

You can donate any item of outdoor clothing (outerlayers, insulation layers, mid layers, base layer tops, wetsuits). We cannot accept underwear. All garments must be in good, clean, and functional condition. Please see our support page stickies for advice on how to clean technical garments. If you have any queries about an item that you wish to donate or what to do with garments that you can't donate, please email the support team.


How do I donate?

You can either drop your donation off at one of our stores or post it free to us at Alpkit HQ. Please fill in the Continuum Project Donation form and send the item(s) to us using the address below:

Alpkit Global HQ

Units 12 - 14 Oak House

Moorgreen Industrial Park

Engine Lane

Newthorpe

Nottingham

NG16 3QU

If needed, you can use our free Royal Mail Tracked service - but this is a charitable campaign and postage costs money! If you do make use of this service, we would welcome a donation to the Alpkit Foundation. If using our free returns system, please make sure to type "Continuum" in the order number field, you can create a shipping label for your donation on the Royal Mail website.


Who are our Charity Partners?

This is an ever-expanding list. We value transparency along the chain so that we can see the direct benefit from the donations. We work with homeless charities and outdoor education charities, prioritising those based in local areas to minimise further shipping where possible.


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Nottingham Bikeworks

Nottingham Bikeworks is a not-for-profit community bike recycling and educational project in the heart of Nottingham city. They use bikes in a wide variety of projects to help educate, engage and enable groups and individuals across the whole community. They provide services for refugee groups, mental health referrals, jobseekers and local residential children’s homes.
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Dirtbags Climbing

Dirtbags Climbing are now accepting wetsuits for repurposing! Any old wetsuits can now be sent to them as part of project 'Dirtbags Swim' for upcycling to keep them out of landfill.
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Thomas Theyer

Thomas Theyer was diagnosed with dyspraxia and attention deficit disorder when he was in primary school. He found joy in running every day. And it improved his gross motor skills, including his hyper flexibility. He loved being active and getting outdoors.


After he died, aged 18, his parents wanted to do something good in his name. Chris and Alan Theyer set up the Thomas Theyer Foundation in 2013. It supports children and young people with additional needs, as well as their families and carers. They know just how beneficial physical exercise can be. Especially outdoors. That’s why they set up their charity shop in Buxton, selling outdoor kit to raise awareness about and money for their charitable work.

The Continuum Project have provided clothes, rucksacks, walking boots and walking poles to the Thomas Theyer Foundation. Almost everything flies out the shop. It’s a great way to keep the outdoors at an accessible price for all, whilst supporting the incredible work the Foundation do.


Manna House

Manna House is a supportive community for the homeless and vulnerably housed in South Lakeland. They advise, advocate and meet the physical, social and emotional needs of people who are vulnerable, lonely or need help. They deliver material assistance, support and learning opportunities.

What has been provided to you through the Continuum Project? And what difference has this made to your organisation?

“Manna House were really delighted to have such a generous donation from Alpkit! The jackets and cold weather gear were easy to give away, as all of our service users liked the look and feel of them. Being homeless is pretty uncomfortable so having waterproof breathable items to wear is more essential than most of us realise. Unfortunately, we do not have any photos because our guys aren’t too keen to be identified, but please know it has meant a lot to many of them to be able to have new and good-looking clothes to wear.” – Andrea Aldridge, Chief Officer at Manna House


Doorways Derby

A community volunteer group who dedicates several evenings a week to provide hot and cold food, drinks, clothing, bedding and social interaction for the homeless, rough sleepers, and vulnerable people who need help on the streets of Derby.

Birmingham City Mission

Founded in 1966 to help those in need, Birmingham City Mission runs projects throughout the city “offering friendship and support to the homeless, elderly, young and those struggling with poverty”


Why are we doing it?

Continuum was launched to address two primary issues: the huge quantity of clothing going to landfill and the growing number of people in need of warm clothing.

The Outdoor Industry thrives because of the environment we live in, however, to make our kit, the outdoor industry contributes to the environmental nasties that are the side effects of any sort of production.

Annual consumption of clothing in the UK alone produces 1.8 million tonnes of waste, and 38 million tonnes of CO2. To help you get your head round these numbers, that's the equivalent of every household in the UK clocking up 6000 miles per year on their car. The best way to reduce this is to prolong the life of our clothes by wearing them for longer.

Here at Alpkit, our Product Team are a conscientious bunch who strives to design durable products, extending their usable lifetime. We know that by extending the average life of clothes by just three months per garment, we can reduce carbon, water, and waste footprints by 5-10%.

But once the Product Team have done their bit, it’s over to you. A significant proportion of the environmental cost of clothing comes from how you use and dispose of it. Many of us love getting shiny new gear, and some of us will even happily retire our fleeces and jackets before their lives are over. There are a huge amount of people living on the streets who are in desperate need of clothing to keep them warm and dry, and organisations in need of waterproofs.

That's where Continuum comes in: we take the unwanted gear that’s stashed up in your attic, destined for landfill, and pass it on people who will really benefit from it.


Donations we can accept

Outdoor clothing: (outerlayers, insulation layers, mid layers, base layer tops), Sleeping Bags, Sleeping mats, Walking poles, Tents, Rucksacks, Pots and pans, Bikes, Bike parts and accessories, Cycle clothing.

Everything is passed on directly to the recipient (new user) of the donation so please make sure that it is clean and functional.

Donations we cannot currently accept

Underwear, Technical sports equipment (e.g. wetsuits, climbing shoes), Safety equipment (e.g. helmets), Worn tyres.


How should I dispose of garments I no longer want / need?

Like we mentioned above, extending the use of a garment reduces the environmetal effects caused by the production of that garment. Before getting rid of a garment, always consider whether you can repair or modify it so that you continue using it.

Even the most technical of garments can usually be repaired, if you are unsure, please feel free to contact support@alpkit.com for advice.

If you are certain that you no longer want the garment, you have a few options:

  • Donate to Continuum Project
  • Sell online or in an outdoor kit exchange
  • Give to charity
  • Sell / donate for upcycling/ downcycling
  • If none of these options are appropriate for whatever reason, the final option is to recycle the garment. Many local councils will offer textile recycling collections to their residents, or at least accept them at recycling centres.

    You can find out more information about recycling textiles in your area here:

    www.recyclenow.com

    Further info:

    WRAP - Valuing Our Clothes: 2

    WRAP - Clothing Knowledge Hub


    What happens to the donations?

    Continuum is carried out to help out those in need whilst reducing the impact that the Outdoor Industry has on the environment.

    Our primary aim is, with the assistance of our Charity Partners, use the donations help those in need. This may be the homeless in need of some warm clothing, outdoor education projects in need of some waterproofs or anywhere in between.

    Our secondary aim is to ensure that zero donations end up in landfill.

    If a donation cannot be used for its original purpose, we will send it off for upcycling, downcycling or scientific research.


    How do I apply to be a charitable partner?

    Please send an email to continuum@alpkit.com introducing yourself and what your kit requirement is, then we take it from there.

    Finally, many thanks to illustrator Andy Smith for helping us out with the very fine artwork.