Value recovery of textile waste: reverse supply chain of the charity organizations in Finland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


In Europe, consumers generate about 5.8 million tons of textile waste per year, two-thirds of which disposed on landfills. An expected increase in global textile consumption emphasises a need for waste management solutions. The paper investigates value recovery systems of the second-hand charity organizations in Finland with the purpose of understanding their value recovery mechanism in reverse textile supply chains.

The research involves an interpretive multiple case study of three leading charity organizations focused on the textile collection, processing and redistribution. The data sources include participant observations and semi-structured interviews.

The paper demonstrates variations in system design and sorting practices. The systems differ in structure, volume and quality of textile inflows, sorting approaches, and overall value recovered with unequal levels of transparency.

Research limitations:
The paper focuses on the leading charity organizations with the store chains in the Helsinki area only. It excludes second-hands operating for-profit and public reuse centres.

Practical implications:
An example of the sustainability forerunners is applicable for designing similar sustainable solutions in other locations.

Social implications:
Besides fund collection from textile trade for humanitarian purposes, the charity organizations decrease negative environmental impact by reducing landfill and promoting reuse of products. The model raises awareness of world development problems and humanitarian crises.

The research addresses the importance of reverse supply chain and sustainability issues in textile waste management.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe 31st Annual NOFOMA Conference,12-14. June 2019, Oslo, Norway : Supply Chain Designs and Sustainable Development of Societies, Proceedings
Number of pages16
PublisherNorwegian Defence University College
Publication date2019
Pages619 - 635
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
Event31st NOFOMA Conference - Norwegian Defence University College, Oslo, Norway
Duration: 12.06.201914.06.2019
Conference number: 31


  • 512 Business and Management
  • reverse supply chain
  • reuse
  • textile waste
  • charity
  • second-hand clothes

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoHP: Humanitarian and societal logistics


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