KappAhl + Myrorna and Fretex = True

2017 Textile collecting KappAhl_2As of 1 February, Myrorna and Fretex are our new textile collection partners. Sustainability chief Fredrika Klarén is very positive about this new collaboration.
It feels absolutely fantastic. Our ambition is to work together on more than just textile collections,” she says.

On 1 February we at KappAhl switched textile collection partners.

Myrorna are now taking the helm in Sweden, and Fretex in Norway. Their joint global organisation Fretex International will be handling textiles for Finland and Poland.

“Both Fretex and Myrorna are well known second-hand chains that do a lot of good in their respective countries, so it feels absolutely fantastic!” says Fredrika Klarén, head of sustainability at KappAhl.

Why did you switch partners?
“We were interested in working with an organisation that not only ensures textiles enjoy a longer lifespan, but is also active locally, offering vocational rehabilitation programmes to those who find it harder to find employment. Myrorna and Fretex’s profits also support the work of The Salvation Army, who run a range of initiatives to help people locally. Among other things, they do a lot for children in vulnerable families and the homeless. With this collaboration with Myrorna and Fretex, the textiles we collect will be able to do even more good.”

Why did you choose to partner up with Myrorna and Fretex?
“Very few organisations can meet KappAhl’s requirements. Most importantly, they meet our transparency requirements. They keep a close eye on their activities and publish annual sustainability reports. They also have a code of conduct for their international partners, which regulates everything from work environment to ethical matters.

Myrorna and Fretex have also succeeded in transforming second-hand goods into something attractive. The circularity they want to achieve is an important aspect of our sustainability strategy.”

Why is the textile collection scheme so important?
“We in the fashion industry have to shift from the linear to the circular, and part of that is ensuring that more textiles are collected for re-use and recycling. This has a clear impact on sustainability; one recent study shows that if we double the number of times a garment is used, we halve its environmental footprint. Which is why we at KappAhl will be developing our Care & Rewear concept more moving forwards, to guide our customer towards a more sustainable fashion consumption. Part of Care & Rewear is our textile collection scheme in stores.”

 What happens to the clothes collected?
“They go to Myrorna and Fretex for handling. They sort the textiles and assess them based on their potential. Most can actually be re-used as they are, and are sold on on the global second-hand market. Our hope is to bring in more textiles that appeal to the Nordic second-hand customer, so that more will stay here. Damaged textiles can often be recycled and turned into new textile products, such as cloths or insulation.”

Why aren’t we working with local organisations in Poland and Finland, too?
“We don’t consider there to be any local organisation in Finland and Poland that can currently meet our requirements on re-use, recycling and transparency. Until we find a local partner, Myrorna and Fretex’s joint trading company Fretex International will take care of these textiles.”

What impact do you think this new collaboration will have?
“We hope to create strong engagement among our customers. Our ambition is to work with Myrorna and Fretex on more than just textile collections to promote circular fashion, so I look forward to doing a lot of exciting activities together. For example, we will be using our shared channels to reach more people, which is great!”

Klarén hopes that the new collaboration will also give a boost to textile collections.
“Nowadays many people sell the very best garments online. But we’re hoping that they will realise that by donating their clothes to us instead they can do a good deed for society,” she says, before adding:
“But we can take the holey sock or the baby grow with avocado stains, all the same.”

Caroline Andermatt, MD at Myrorna, is also very positive about the new collaboration:
“It is important to us to be a driving force in closing the loop, and that’s what this collaboration with KappAhl is all about. Through accessibility and visibility, we are working together to increase consumer awareness. We also think it’s great that KappAhl has really brought itself to the forefront by seeing how important it is to work together while considering the bigger picture in sustainability: we aren’t just looking at circularity, but also how these initiatives benefit everyone socially, environmentally and financially,” she says.

Myrorna is a Swedish second-hand chain that collects clothing and goods that are sold in stores across the country. The organisation’s overarching goal is to stimulate and boost the re-use of goods, and to create work experience opportunities for those experiencing difficulty on the labour market.

Fretex is Norway’s biggest second-hand chain. The chain has roughly 40 stores across the country and, like Myrorna, offers vocational rehabilitation opportunities to those experiencing difficulty on the labour market.

Both Myrorna and Fretex are owned by The Salvation Army, and profits from both store chains go to the latter’s social activities in Sweden and Norway. The Salvation Army runs shelters, assisted housing, schools, crisis centres and more.

Fretex International is also owned by The Salvation Army. They collect and distribute textiles to where they will do the most good on the global second-hand market.

Posted by Elina Bratt Lejring