UAE: Now, sell old clothes for cash, coupons Used garments will be picked up free of charge and recycled or resold

By Sherouk Zakaria

Published: Fri 21 Jan 2022, 12:14 PM

UAE residents can now exchange their old clothes for cash or draw coupons while helping protect the environment.

The newly launched Kiswa UAE service for clothes recycling offers to pick up used garments free of charge.

Seham Allam, a spokesperson for Kiswa UAE, explained, “We buy the extra clothes from customers and send for recycling, while rewarding them for reducing waste and pollution.”

Regardless of their condition, old clothes, shoes, bags, bed sheets and toys can be donated for recycling. Donations are weighed on pick-up, and customers are given cash or coupons for each kilogram of their giveaways.

How to place a pick-up order

Customers across UAE can place a pick-up appointment on the website or using WhatsApp on 0569708000. Kiswa representatives collect the extra clothes from your doorstep within 24 hours.

After collection, a specialized team sorts and filters the clothing items in three warehouses across the UAE with a daily capacity of tonnes of clothes.

“Garments in good conditions are resold abroad, while damaged clothes are sorted and recycled for other uses like furniture or curtains,” said Allam.

Over the past four months, Kiswa UAE has helped recycle over 424,100 pieces of clothing. With about 20 dedicated drivers, Allam said the service receives over 300 pick-up orders a day.

Corporate entities can also order a container to be placed at their premises where employees can drop their used garments for recycling.

“We have witnessed incredible demand from customers across the UAE, which signals people’s commitment to protecting the environment. We are happy to be providing the channel to help them achieve that,” noted Allam.

Representatives are currently in the process of establishing partnerships with charity organizations that can distribute clothes and garments in good condition to families and people in need.

“We aim to give 10 per cent of the collected clothes to charity,” said Allam.

Environmental awareness

Allam added they reward customers for clothes recycling to promote social and environmental goals.

“We want to raise environmental awareness in the UAE and encourage people to lead a sustainable living by reducing pollution. We aspire to build a recycling mindset in the UAE society,” said Allam.

Globally, people produce an estimated 92 million tonnes of textile waste annually, with only 12 per cent of the material used for clothing being recycled. An equivalent of a rubbish truck full of clothes is dumped in landfill sites every second across the world, and the fashion industry is responsible for 10 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions globally.

Allam noted that materials used for clothing take up to 40 years to degrade.

“When we, as consumers, understand the pollution caused to the environment by throwing away clothes, we will begin to take up recycling as a lifestyle. Having awareness is key,” she said.

Before coming to the UAE, Kiswa had been providing clothes recycling services in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Germany, Pakistan and GCC countries since 2009. It is looking to expand in Bahrain and Qatar soon.