My love for this industry started when I was a child; learning that I could get so much more for my money and grabbing bargains from bootfairs and charity shops.
So when I became a mum and needed something to earn money and keep me sane; it was only natural for me to start my own company providing cash for clothes services locally and selling on online platforms such as ebay. Anything that wasn’t “ebayable” such as lower end high street clothing I would sell at bootfairs. I made a good, reasonable living from it and helped so many people that just didn’t have the time to sell it themselves but wanted that little bit of money for it. I ended up having two children close together so it was something that I could do at home whilst they were young.
I used to sell what I couldn’t, to the “rag man” but never really understood what happened to it and where it went. However, eight years ago I got the opportunity to work for the “rag man” myself and I learnt….. a lot!
We have built and grown the company over the years and we are now one of the biggest grading companies in the UK! Every item that comes through our warehouse is hand sorted and is either categorised as re-useable or un-useable.
The recyclables and winter clothing are baled and exported to Pakistan where they use what they can and then will re-cycle the remainder by taking it back to its natural fibres or by re-purposing and making into a new product. The re-useable summer, lighter garments are sorted, categorised, baled and exported to developing countries such as Africa.
Our Zenith bales are very sort after in Ghana, Africa but this doesn’t stop us from thinking about the future and how we can work more sustainably.
In 2020 the earth stood still, the streets were empty and the majority of the country had a lot of time on their hands! I have researched, I have learnt, and I have worked very hard on some sustainable initiatives which will provide opportunities for the UK as well as helping our business with reduce our carbon footprint.
Textiles 2030 is a voluntary agreement, to be funded by its signatories and government. Signatories will collaborate on carbon, water and circular textile targets, and also contribute to national policy discussions with UK governments to shape Extended Producer Responsibility and other critical regulatory developments.. Interested in taking part? (wrap.org.uk).
Textiles 2030 is the UK’s most ambitious voluntary agreement designed to limit the impact clothes and home textiles have on climate change in line with the Paris Agreement and the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action.
Innovation will be key to stimulating progress on circularity. Textiles 2030 will provide opportunities for partnering on and testing new concepts.
Zenith actively promote recycling and the diversion of textiles from landfill. We provide house collection services to the public through our Cash For Clothes, Cash For Charities initiative; a new take back scheme as of 2021 where the public can decide to keep the money themselves or donate proceeds to charity. We are trialling in our local area currently and the proceeds of the clothing can be donated to either St Christopher’s Hospice or Greenwich & Bexley Hospice; charities that provide vital end of life care and support to our local communities.
We also provide charity shop collection services across the whole of the South East; our motto is “to go above and beyond” which means that the lovely charities that we work with receive a very good service and good rates of pay for their goods.
Some charities that we work with have textile banks that we collect from, and they receive the proceeds from the textile bank collections.
We buy in 300 tonnes a week and sort it in our warehouse in Erith!
Sustainability is about collaboration, not competition. We have 22 categories and counting now available for sale in our UK Wholesale Clothing department!
Anyone can buy 20KG of a certain product and all clothing will be in a good, re-useable condition. Instead of exporting everything out; the clothing will go back into the UK economy. You could buy a product for yourself, your family, you could sell the remainder, you could donate, you could have clothing parties with friends… the options are endless! There is a category for everyone and every 20KG bundle is different.
This promotes a circular economy because we are extending the life of the clothing in the UK. This is just a starting point and we hope to grow; not just for the best of the best products; but we want to f