Australia’s first self-service returns portal goes green

A new self-service digital textile collection service has been launched, allowing Aussie households to have their unwanted old clothes, shoes and textiles picked up from home.

Parcel delivery service CouriersPlease (CP) and sustainable sock company Manrags have partnered to launch a direct-to-consumer textile collection service that can be booked online by the customer.

The new program is offered on the Manrags website and is powered by CP’s self-service returns solution, Boomerang, where consumers can directly book and schedule a pick-up of their old textiles from their front door at a time of their choosing.

Around 60,000 tonnes of unusable donations to charities in Australia are sent to landfill each year, with over $13 million spent in waste management by charity and opportunity shops alone.

Manrags has kept more than 30 tonnes of clothing out of landfill to date, through its textile recycling program, and during the height of the pandemic received more than 20 tonnes of textiles in just six weeks.

Paul Roper, Chief Commercial Officer at CP, said CouriersPlease is striving to make all aspects of its delivery business greener and Boomerang, Australia’s first self-service returns portal, used as a ‘green’ solution.

“Boomerang makes the recycling process easy for Australian households to have their preloved textiles collected without needing to leave home,” he said.

“Aussies simply pack up their items in a box, no bigger than a suitcase and no more than 10kg, and a CP franchisee collects it from their door. We believe the ease of Boomerang will encourage households to give used items a second life and look towards programs such as the Manrags initiative as a way they can help our environment.”

How does the collection service work?

The Manrags and CP partnership removes any potential barriers between consumers recycling and reusing goods, such as charities not accepting donations or not for re-use items, through the self-service Boomerang portal.

To book a textile collection service, consumers ‘purchase’ their collection on the Manrags website for $25, which allows for up to 10kg of unwanted textiles to be picked up from their home.

Upon registering their details and receiving confirmation of their payment, customers will receive a redemption code from Manrags that will enable them to book their textile collection via the Boomerang portal, allowing them to directly book a textile pick-up at a time which suits them.

Customers then package up their old textiles into a box for a CP franchisee to collect from their home.

In exchange for organising a pick-up, consumers receive a $25 credit with Manrags the first time they participate, to redeem at the Manrags online store, to encourage Aussies to recycle old clothing, linen and shoes through the direct-to-consumer digital collection service.

More than a focus on sustainable socks

Michael Elias, Founder and Managing Director of Manrags, said there’s no reason for clothing, shoes and linen to end up in landfill now as its created a fast and seamless pick-up experience for households.

“The (returns service) idea came from a shared focus on trying to do better. We’re diverting textiles from landfill and Couriers Please are on a journey to become more sustainable and reduce their CO2 footprint,” he told MHD.

With every 1kg of clothing Manrags divert from landfill, it prevents a further 3-4kg of greenhouse gases from hitting the air we breathe.

Michael said It made sense to partner and provide a service which gives customers a self managed portal to choose when is convenient for them to have their old unwanted clothes, shoes, etc picked up.

“We’re pioneering clothing recycling after questioning our impact that we have made from producing our products and questioning where they were ending up,” he said.

“If no one in Australia is going to take responsibility, we will. We want future generations to one day celebrate that we made an impact and that we put our best foot forward, not for them to despise us and this formed from Myself and Tina (my wife/co founder) and how we want our kids to think about us in the future.”

Michael said textile waste is an enormous issue and although every company is focussed on sustainability, “the genuine ones are taking measures and making progress not simply employing people to talk about it”.

“It must also come from the top down…. To phrase a “corporate” approach,” he said.

“It’s disappointing to see this as not a focus yet even though we Aussies are the second highest consumer per capita. On average, each Australian purchases 27kg of textiles per annum and discards of 23kg. 95% of this could have been reused, repurpose, recycled. We’re making it easy for consumers, brands, schools, councils to make an impact and make a difference.”

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