When we set the Continuum Project up, it was simple. We wanted to use our logistics to take the garments you no longer need, and pass them directly on to those organisations who need it most.
Through our charity, the Alpkit Foundation, we could see the real need for kit in many groups and charities centred around the outdoors. We also saw the prevalence of homelessness and lack of warm clothing in our home cities and towns. We knew we could do something to help get kit to those in need, mitigate environmental damage caused by sending things to landfill, and get our lovely customers involved too. We simply couldn’t think of a reason not to do it!
The Outdoor Industry thrives off of the wild places and remote ecosystems we live in. However, we contribute to environmental issues by producing the kit required to survive and enjoy those wild places. All of us love a new t-shirt, hiking boots or a fancy new jacket to impress our mates and take on adventures. But that feels a little less sweet when you realise that an average cotton T-shirt takes 2,700 litres of water to produce. That’s enough to hydrate a person for 2.5 years! Unfortunately, the throwaway clothing culture has some costly effects to the environment.
Alpkit are committed to using Organic cotton, Ethical Trading and Humane resources. Despite this, we know the most sustainable thing we can really do is prolong the life of our garments. Extending the average life of each garment by just 3 months, would yield a 5-10% decrease in carbon, water and waste footprints. Nice!
This is where the Continuum Project comes in. We work with a growing list of wonderful groups and charities to donate your unwanted gear and give it a new life. It’s easy, you donate your unwanted items at any of our Donation Stations, or post them to our global HQ in Nottingham. We then sort the donations by charity, box them up and ship them out!
Occasionally, we get garments that aren’t fit for purpose, which we donate to scientific research or to PlayWorks ScrapStore, an up-cycling organisation focused on providing creative resources to improve play and encourage young people to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
Now, the other half of collecting gear for donations is having somewhere to donate it to. Earlier this year, we collaborated with Gift Your Gear to widen our donation network, and we owe massive thanks to our lovely charity partners, whose wonderful work benefits thousands of people. We work with a number of Charities battling homelessness in their area. You are amazing: Doorways Derby, The Canaan Trust, Birmingham City Mission, Streets Kitchen Clapham Common and Freedom Community Alliance. We are proud to support Three Peaks Africa (Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project) by providing essential kit to Kilimanjaro porters, like a recent batch of Pulsar jackets we donated to keep them dry. We also work with My Great Escape, a fantastic organisation enabling survivors of domestic abuse to find refuge in the outdoors.
Since just before Christmas last year we have sent out over 50 donation boxes to our charity partners, which is roughly 1500 garments donated by you lovely lot, kept out of landfill, and given directly to those who need it most! Well done, you marvellous humans! We are hoping that Continuum can continue to provide help to as many people as possible, and the more people that know about us, the more we can help. Voting closes on 31st October, so get your vote in now if you haven't already done so!