The Alpkit 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 whilst you're at it.
The idea is simple. You send us outdoor garments that you no longer use and we pass them on to charities who will in turn give them directly to someone who needs them for protection from the elements.
Occasionally, when a garment is deemed no longer fit for purpose, it will be donated to scientific research projects relating to the outdoor industry and up/downcycling projects.
What can I donate?
You can donate any item of outdoor clothing (outerlayers, insulation layers, mid layers, base layer tops). 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.
How do I donate garments to you?
You can either drop your donation off at one of our stores: Alpkit Hathersage or Alpkit Ambleside, leave it with our friends at the Climbing Unit in Derby or bring it to one of our events during the year.
Alternatively, you can send the donation 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
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 the local area to minimise further shipping where possible.
Nottinghamshire-based charity that works with the homeless to help to "rebuild their lives, regain their self esteem, rebuild their self confidence". Cannan Trust also do extensive work alongside various charities including frontline homelessness.
PlayWorks aims to improve the quality and quantity of play provisions for Children and Young People in Nottingham by providing resources like the Scrap Store and Art Shop, as well as offering training, information and opportunities for people to get together and share ideas. PlayWorks is our go-to group for ensuring that any textiles no longer fit for their original purpose can be used by artists, students and children to create something new and wonderful!
Three Peak Africa's mission is to promote travel as a force for good whilst encouraging a circular economy. We will be sending donations to porters in the mountain regions via Three Peaks Africa, therefore mitigating any carbon cost of shipping donations internationally.
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”.
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.
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.
Why are we doing it?
The Continuum Project 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.
What happens to the donations?
Continuum Project 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.