Can an app make the fashion industry sustainable?

John Lewis & Partners, a British department store, in partnership with Stuffstr, have developed a mobile app that will allow their customers to sell their old clothes back to the store that will then be collected and recycled.


By 2050, the materials used by the fashion industry could be unrecognisable. The industry relies heavily on raw materials and labour-intensive production processes. Environmental destruction, amounting from a “take, make, dispose” model, has caused the price of key commodities such as cotton to rise, placing the industry and the environment under extreme pressure.

Customer driven

In 2018, as part of a collaboration with Stuffstr, John Lewis & Partners launched an app to encourage their customers to sell their used clothes back to the store. The app will allow them to calculate the amount they will receive, and once this has passed £50 a courier will collect the pieces from their home. The customer will then receive a John Lewis e-gift card.


Once the items have been collected, if they can’t be resold or mended, they will be recycled into new pieces. This will enable them to mitigate the effects that the fashion industry is having on the planet as it will encourage their customers to think about their end-to-end buying habits.

This story shows how John Lewis & Partners supports Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, specifically Target 9.4: “By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities.”

About John Lewis & Partners

John Lewis & Partners is a chain of high-end department stores operating throughout the United Kingdom that is owned by the John Lewis Partnership. They started with a small store on London’s Oxford Street and now they have 50 stores that are operated by over 38,000 employees!

Learn more about John Lewis & Partners.

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