One could argue that businesses are just as guilty as the individual where waste, pollution, and sustainability are concerned—if not, even more so. And while we might feel like we’re not always in control of the wasteful outcomes, there still exists little and meaningful ways in which we as consumers can do our part for the environment.
This includes shopping sustainably by being intentional about where you shop at. For starters, you can curate a list of retailers which you patronise, and here’s a mini list to help you out. Ranging from tech to fashion, these 6 brands in Singapore with trade-in programmes so that you can give back while you consume. Just some tips that save you money and the environment at the same time.
As one of the world’s leading tech companies, Apple stays ahead of the sustainability game through their well-known and heavily-utilised trade-in programme aimed at reducing electronic waste—a growing problem in this current age.
The programme allows you to get started via a selection of choices, categorised according to your device type—smartphones, tablets, computers, watches and others. Through a series of questions, a consultant at Apple will instantly generate a quote for your trade-in—competitive and reasonable, as promised on their site. If deemed unsuitable for a trade in, your device will instead be redirected for recycling instead, which is still a better route for your dear ex-laptop to take, environmental-wise.
Apple is also dedicated to making the trade in and recycling processes as fuss-free as possible for its consumers. For trade-ins, you can arrange for a pick up with their partner, or use a trade-in kit which provides you with everything you need to mail out your device. If you’re recycling, you can get a printable shipping label or drop your device off at an Apple Store. Either way, the process remains free and simple for the user.
Starting 1 April 2020, L’Occitane Singapore is introducing an all-new recycling programme entitled ‘BIG Little Things’—and no, despite its launch date, this isn’t a joke. So if you’ve just happened to squeeze out your last drop of shampoo, hold your horses, muster up restraint from tossing it into the bin, and saunter auntie-style into your nearest L’Occitane store.
Bring your beauty empties of any brand to any of these 3 selected outlets—Ion Orchard, Vivocity, and Plaza Singapura, and receive free L’Occitane products in return. Some items that will be accepted for recycling include containers for shower products, shampoos, conditioners, body creams, and anything from their eco refill range.
Welcome to Uniqlo! A one-stop shop for almost every Singaporean man ever, and an occasional basics treasure trove for my fellow women out there. The Japan-based apparel brand has long been well-loved worldwide for their fashionable and value-for-money clothing. It comes as no surprise that Uniqlo runs its own fashion recycling sustainability programme with partners such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Through this, customers can drop off their used Uniqlo apparel at Uniqlo stores across the island—but not without thoroughly washing them first, because civic-mindedness never takes a backseat, Cecilia. And while there isn’t a monetary incentive to this good deed, think of it as blessing someone else with that sweater that you don’t even wear anyway—all that, and you get to declutter as a reward.
In partnership with Cotton’s Blue Jeans Go Green initiative, Levi’s hopes to channel their best efforts into a programme that focuses on recycling denim. Due to the nature of the material, denim can naturally withstand heavy wear and tear—which makes it all the more perfect for reusing, recycling, and repurposing.
Drop off any used denim (not limited to jeans!) at the recycling boxes located in all Levi’s outlets. These recycled material will then be used for building insulation for community-oriented projects like libraries, hospitals, and schools. Furthermore, when you recycle your denim, Levi’s offers a 20% discount voucher on a single item as a way to thank their patrons for shopping sustainably.
Ah, Lush. It seemed like daydreams away when Lush was the brand to shop at—bath bombs here, facial scrubs there. I distinctly remember fussing over the glorious scent of their Honey, I Washed The Kids bar soaps, not-so-subtly hinting at my best friend to get it for my birthday (which she did, by the way).
Many love Lush for their sweet-smelling, aesthetically-pleasing bath products, and it’s no secret that the brand is all about ethical buying, organic production, and fighting animal testing. However, not everyone might know about the policy under which customers get to claim a free face mask when they return 5 clean, empty pots. These pots will then be chipped down and remoulded into new ones, in keeping with the company’s vision towards recycling and reusing.
The name itself is pretty self-explanatory—Refash is a local brand with a simple goal: to reduce textile waste through fashion repurposing. Inspired by his wife’s extensive wardrobe, of which 70% consistently remained as white elephants, Aloysius Sng founded Refash in 2016.
On Refash, you’ll find pre-loved pieces ranging from dresses and tops, to bags and shoes—often going at half their original prices. On their website, everything you need to know about the pieces is stated transparently under its listing—its condition, original price, current price, brand, and any other miscellaneous information. Shop comfortably online, or if you’re the type of person who prefers to longingly caress your clothes as you go, then you can always pay Refash a visit at any of their 10 brick-and-mortar stores listed here. As a user, you can also sell your used but presentable pieces with them in just 4 easy steps—but not without a quality check from the team at Refash first, of course.
While the concept at Refash doesn’t necessarily involve trade-ins per se, it’s still a worthy mention where sustainability in fast fashion is concerned. To wit, Refash is an ecosystem of fashion old and new, loved and worn through which shoppers can snag cute new pieces for cheap while ensuring that their old clothings finds some lovin’. A win-win, if you ask me.