News - update on all things Alpkit
By Ashleigh Naysmith | 04, Apr, 2017
We launch our Continuum Project
What is Continuum Project?
The Continuum Project is the Alpkit Foundation's summer campaign designed to make it easy for you to donate your outdoor kit directly to those who need it most, and keep your kit out of landfill.
The idea is simple. You send us outdoor garments that you no longer use and we pass them on to charities who will be able to give the garment directly to someone who needs it for protection from the elements.
Occasionally, when the garment is deemed no longer fit for its original purpose, they will be donated to scientific research projects relating to the outdoor industry, and up/downcycling projects.
Why are we doing it?
The Outdoor Industry thrives because of the environment we live in, yet, counterintuitively, to produce the kit we need, we are contributing to the environmental nasties that come with 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 and equates to 38 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 by extending the average life of clothes by just three months per garment would 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.
Altering laundry habits can reduce the footprint by a further 6%. This essentially involves washing clothing less often and at lower temperatures. But make sure that you give your washing machine a service wash regularly or else it won't clean your clothes at lower temperatures. Service washes should be done every 20 - 30 washes. To do this, simply clean out the detergent drawer and run your machine at its highest temperature using 1/2 cup of white wine vinegar instead of wash powder. You can put a rag in the drum to help or leave it empty. The bonus to this is it will make your washing machine last loads longer, too!
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 landfill each year.
Recycling is a 'last resort' option. The energy cost of recycling textiles is relatively high so reuse, upcycling and downcycling are far better options. This is where Continuum Project comes in!
Who are our Charity Partners?
As we launch we have the following partners, although we hope that this list will grow...
- Canaan Trust: Nottinghamshire based homelessness charity whose aim is to "rebuild their lives, regain their self esteem, rebuild their self confidence". Cannan Trust is our first port of call due to their extended network amongst various charities including frontline homelessness.
- PlayWorks ScrapStore: "PlayWorks, aims to improve the quality and quantity of Play provision for Children and Young People in Nottingham... by providing resources like the ScrapStore, the Art Shop, along with Training, and Information and the chance for people to get together and share ideas.". PlayWorks are our go-to group for ensuring any scrap textiles that can no longer be used for the original purpose but can be used by artists, students and children to create something new and wonderful!
- Three Peaks Africa/ Kilimanjara Porters Assistance Project: With an aim for travel to be seen as a force for good whilst encouragaing a circular economy. We will be sending Donations to porters in the mountain regions through Three Peaks Africa therefore mitigating any carbon cost of shipping donations internationally.
- 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”.
- 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.
- Freedom Community Alliance: A 'needs led' charity based in Barnstaple who work with a range of vulnerable groups including homeless people and those suffering from substance misuse issues, poor physical / mental health and debt and poverty.
How do I apply to be a charitable partner?
Please visit the Continuum Project home page.
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