Measuring the quality and value of textiles from various sources

The purpose of this report is to measure the value of textiles from various sources through the material markets and the associated costs to secure supply, collect and sort, in order to prioritise the higher level of income to be generated.

There are various sources (household, public and commercial) and collection methods (textile banks, kerbside sorted, door to door, co-mingled, charity drop off, cash 4 clothes, donations to schools and branded workwear)  for textiles. The collection methods vary across all these methods, however the cost to these does vary greatly.

This project identified that across 6 of the 8 sources measured the re-use and recycling rate of the textiles ranged from 80 – 89%, with the waste element accounting for 1.5 – 5.8%.

Exceptions to this included the co-mingled textiles which had no value due to contamination and damage, resulting in a disposal cost. The branded workwear provided a lower re-use and recycling proportion albeit this was of more significant value.  

The report did not explain why the level of re-use of clothing was so evenly spread, but what it did suggest was that consumers like to use this range of collection methods, they would appear to choose them for re-use and finally that there is the potential to capture more textiles for recycling through this infrastructure.


These reports have been written to be read as a package and not in isolation. To get an overview of what the trials were trying to achieve, we recommend that you read the summary report. For those wishing to receive more detail, we suggest that the trial reports are also read.

If you are considering or currently collecting textiles, you may be interested in our new textiles collections guidance.