Every single item that is donated through Myer to Salvos Stores gets individually sorted, evaluated, and placed either in store or into one of our recycling streams. Once donations are received by a store, they are moved to a sorting room where the store team will separate them into clothing categories or season. Each category will be carefully sorted by a team member who will review each item and decide, for example, which pieces of clothing are in saleable condition (clean and undamaged), and which will need to be repurposed.
Clothes that have been processed for sale are then priced based on their condition, quality, and original retail value before being displayed on the shop floor for them to find a new owner.
By giving these products another life, the action of purchasing preloved goods becomes a means of continuing what's called the ‘Circular Economy’- and Salvos Stores are steadfast in getting the sustainable word out to continue to ‘slow’ fashion production down!
In most stores, some donations may even find their new home on the other side of the country, as selected items are listed on our online store which can be shopped from anywhere in Australia, anytime!
So- what happens to items that don't sell in the store they were first donated to?
What do we do with items that are damaged, stained or unsaleable?
If an item has been on sale in one of our stores for five weeks or so without selling, it will then be ‘rotated’ to another Salvos Store via our distribution warehouses in each state.
We tend to mix it up and send goods onto a new store in a different area for more customers to browse, giving goods another ‘life-cycle’.
If it doesn’t sell there, we will repeat this process again and again, rotating stock between our stores or listing it online until we find the item a home. We also send donations on to support The Salvation Army welfare programs like Crossroads, Doorways and many other local initiatives. Giving the donations we receive ‘new lives’ in our stores and communities, is always our first choice.
Whilst most of the items we stock do get purchased by our customers, there are inevitably a small percentage of donations - predominantly those that come to us in poor condition or are left after hours in the rain - that cannot be sold. However, this doesn’t mean that they are all discarded into landfill!
At Salvos Stores we have a variety of processes in place for repurposing or recycling what we can’t sell immediately. Some unsellable textiles are processed into industrial rag, while other items not suitable for the Australian consumer market are exported to developing countries for relief aid.
We are committed to working with Governments and industry leaders to come up with both onshore, circular economy solutions to reduce the need to look offshore and further manage our environmental impact.
And we are on track to divert even more saleable products this year with help from the team and customers at Myer.
We are dedicated to reducing fashions impact, and through our proud partnership with Myer we can bring more eco-conscious people with us on this circular economy journey.
To give your garments a new life, donate in participating Myer stores and feel good about doing your bit for the environment.
Wherever there is hardship or injustice, Salvos will live, love and fight alongside others, to transform Australia one life at a time with the love of Jesus