BRC launches retailer guideline for circular economy

the Guidelines for second-hand and second-hand items published by the British Retail Consortium has been developed by a cohort of retailers, resale platforms, charity retailers and other industry experts.

The guideline outlines steps retailers can take to adhere to circular economy principles. By following this circular model, retailers will promote the progress they have already made in lengthening the life cycle of the products consumers buy, says BRC.

“We are delighted to launch our first voluntary guideline on second-hand and used items,” said Helen Dickinson, Executive Director of the BRC. “With more people looking for ways to shop sustainably, particularly as the cost of living rises, selling second-hand items in-store and online can encourage sustainable behaviors at affordable prices and take us one step closer to a sustainable economy. circular. .

“Retailers recognize the role they can play in helping their customers shop in more environmentally friendly ways, and we hope this guide will help many on their sustainability journey.”

For apparel, footwear, home textiles, and other items, retailers can promote marketplaces and resale platforms; use the rental and rental subscription services; and offer product exchanges, recycling and repair schemes, rather than throwing away items.

The guideline emphasizes the importance of quality controls, which clearly inform the customer about the condition of the item. It also clarifies that its objective is not to promote the circulation of perfect articles, but rather to circulate all articles, with the certainty that both the buyer and the seller have exactly the same level of information and expectation of its condition.

His post comes as the charity Oxfam celebrates its “Second-Hand September”, which encourages people to only buy second-hand items for 30 days in the month of September.

With an estimated GBP140m (US$150.3m) worth of clothing sent to landfill each year, according to WRAP, and 88% of people wanting brands that help them live sustainably, according to GlobalData, BRC and its Members reiterate their duty of care to their customers and their responsibility to ensure further circular economy principles are met.

The guideline has already been well received in Westminster and Holyrood, with Dr Lisa Cameron MP and Maurice Golden MSP tabling supporting motions in their respective parliaments.

BRC’s long-term goal is to limit and ultimately end unnecessary landfilling and keep items in circulation longer so more people can use and love them. The BRC is already working with retailers on their Net Zero journey through its Climate action roadmap. Supported by over 80 major retailers, it is the retail industry’s commitment to zero carbon emissions from the industry and supply chain by 2040.

Murray Lambell, General Manager of eBay UK and a contributor to the guide, said: “We all have a role to play in getting to a more sustainable future, and shopping differently is a vital part of this. At eBay, we’re on a mission to change the conversation about thrift shopping to help each person, one step at a time, make an impact. That’s why we’ve launched a number of specialist hubs, like Certified Refurbished and Imperfects, and why we recently partnered with Love Island. But to bring about the big change we need, we need to work together as a broader industry, so we’re excited to help set standards to make the fashion industry more circular and endorse the new Second-Hand Guideline, to help us move forward. towards a more sustainable circular economy”.

Dr Lisa Cameron MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Textiles and Fashion, added: “It is fantastic to see retailers taking responsible initiatives to achieve a more circular economy. This practical and detailed guide will help retailers, brands and resale platforms keep thousands of products in use for longer, an important step towards their goal and ambition to limit and ultimately end item shipping. to the landfill. Parliament welcomes this guidance and we look forward to supporting further actions taken by retailers to promote the circular economy in future.”

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