Salvation Army wins Environment Award with Project Re:claim™

Salvation Army charity shops have won two major awards from the Charity Retail Association for Outstanding Charity Retailer of the Year, and Environmental and Sustainability.

This is the second time the charity has won the prestigious Outstanding Charity Retailer of the Year Award in the past four years – winning it outright in 2022 and 2024, and also being shortlisted in 2021 and 2023. 

Salvation Army Trading Company Ltd (SATCoL), which operates around 250 stores on behalf of The Salvation Army, was presented the awards at the CRA Annual Conference held at the Harrogate Convention Centre on 26th June 2024.

Both award categories focused on retail initiatives and key achievements over the previous 12 months. SATCoL recently announced its highest trading results and a record-breaking donation to its parent charity of over £11.2m.

Trevor Caffull, SATCoL Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to receive this recognition from the Charity Retail Association. We are grateful to our fantastic retail teams who are committed to ongoing improvement in our service to donors, customers and communities, including the fulfilment of our mission to help those in need through initiatives such as our vital free clothing voucher scheme. Our commitment to sustainability sees us investing in new, market-leading innovations that are transforming reuse and recycling in the UK.”

In 2022 SATCoL launched its 5-Year Strategic Plan under the theme of ‘Dare to CARE’ – this included new performance measures for People, Planet and Profit. CARE represents our values of Compassion, Accountability, Respect and Equality – this theme has resonated strongly with our colleagues and further nurtured SATCoL’s culture to help others. The company continues to invest in its successful donation centres and refurbishing more high street shops – 10 new donation centres opened and 9 high street shops were refurbished in the year 2022-23.

The Environmental and Sustainability Award sets out specific criteria that organisations must demonstrate, including the introduction of green policies, and new ways of dealing with textile recycling.

Trevor Caffull added: “Dare to Care is a reminder that in our everyday work, we must do everything in our power to help others. One example of this is our clothing voucher scheme. In 2023-24 we issued nearly 3,000 free clothing vouchers directly from our stores, for people who were referred to us via local churches, councils or other agencies. Twelve months on, this has risen to over 5,000 vouchers, an increase of 79%. This is a reflection of the impact of the cost-of-living crisis as more and more people are turning to The Salvation Army for support.”

Majonne Frost, Head of Environment and Sustainability at SATCoL, said: 

“A core part of our strategy is to enable and encourage people to reuse and recycle more. As well as offering convenient ways to do this through our stores, we are also making positive changes through our processes and suppliers. This has seen over 1.5m plastic bags removed from our retail operations, and the conversion to LED lighting in our stores. Our retail colleagues are hosting engaging events such as our Repair Cafés, Sally Salvage events (where useful unsold household items are given away free of charge) and participating in nationwide campaigns such as Sustainable Fashion Week.”

SATCoL has also invested heavily in world-leading innovations including FibersortTM, the UK’s only automatic sorting process that accurately identifies and sorts second-hand garments by fibre type, and Project Re:claimTM, the world’s first commercial-scale polyester recycling plant designed to recycle end-of-life textiles. Project Re:claim is a joint venture with Project Plan B.

SATCoL, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of its parent charity, exists to ‘enable mission and provide resources to help the work of The Salvation Army’. In the past ten years alone, SATCoL has raised over £100m for The Salvation Army. 

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