Take your old unwanted clothes into underwear store Intimissimi, and you can come out with sexy lingerie (or more practical undergarments). The Italian company has partnered with clothing recycler I:CO to implement the idea.
Any clothes, no matter their brand or condition, can be swapped for vouchers. Old, used panties will earn you €1 (around $1.20), pajamas €2, and anything bigger (t-shirts, pullovers, and shirts) €3. You can then combine vouchers to pay up to 20% of the purchase price of new clothes.
I:CO recycles clothes from many sources, turning them into building insulation, stuffing for plush toys, and even fancy paper. It’s not the only provider for this kind of thing, either. An outfit named Community Recycling lets you mail in used clothes for recycling, although it doesn’t pay you to do so.
This frictionless, easy-to-do recycling is ideal for customers, and, of course a great way to get people into the stores of participating companies like Intimissimi. At first, the short-term nature of these promotions looks cynical–after all, isn’t it better to help people recycle year-round? But maybe the temporary clothing amnesties spur people to action, in the same way that the last weekend of a popular exhibition is always the busiest. Exhibit A: After finding out about this promotion yesterday, my girlfriend and I are rounding up all our unused old clothes. And if you’re interested, I’m saving up for a thong.
The program last popped up in 2014 and is currently running in Germany, from September 1 to November 30. Vouchers are valid until the end of 2015.