BIU Group, working with Tesco and other stores, demonstrates the value of recycling textiles and how it can make a difference to Air Ambulance charities.


BIU Group, one of the UK’s leading textile recycling organisations was on prime time television in early December, on BBC1’s Helicopter Heroes series, which shows the work carried out on a daily basis by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance charity (YAA).

The BBC regularly accompanies the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, filming for the Helicopter Heroes series capturing the life saving missions that the charity regularly responds to.

In the current series, the BBC showed BIU Group’ s recycling operation, to highlight how the textiles recycled provide major and vital support to the Air Ambulance. Monies generated through the recycling goes directly to YAA – it costs £9,900 per day just to keep the service running.

Footage was filmed at the Tesco store in Sowerby Bridge, Halifax and included an interview with one of BIU Group’s Directors, Barry Wilson, demonstrating how the textile recycling bank at the store supports the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, also the hard work that goes in to making sure the facilities are a success from both Tesco and YAA perspectives.

The relationship with Tesco and BIU Group is one of the most significant for the YAA recycling scheme. The companies have worked together to implement textile recycling banks across Yorkshire, making it easy for the general public to donate unwanted clothing, shoes and textiles whilst doing their grocery shopping, supporting their local Air Ambulance charity.

Mr Felix Gummer, spokesperson from Tesco said, “We are proud to have supported the Yorkshire Air Ambulance for the last six years through the recycling banks we have at our stores across Yorkshire. They have proved really popular with our customers and thanks to their generosity we raise over £75,000 each year, which has helped the Yorkshire Air Ambulance continue its vital work.”

Clean clothing and textiles can be reused or recycled in a number of different ways. All collected textiles are hand sorted and graded by highly skilled workers who are able to recognise the large variety of fibre types. Once graded the clothes are then weighed and press packed into bales using the most up-to-date weighing and pressing equipment.

These bales are then sent to various destinations where it is either re-used as second-hand clothing and wearable shoes, exported to developing countries, reclaimed and shredded for filling materials, recycled to produce new products in the reclamation industry, or recycled into new fibres. Only a small percentage of materials are rejected as waste, and these can be ground into pellets or dust to create new sources of fillings or combustible fuel.

BIU Group has been the recycling partner for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance since 2005, and the recycling schemes have so far generated over £1 Million for the charity.

Barry Wilson explains, “The Yorkshire Air Ambulance relies on the generosity of the public and businesses like Tesco. We are delighted and proud to have raised over £1 million, so far, for the charity and are looking forward to generating more funds in our partnership together. Being aired on Helicopter Heroes is fantastic for everyone involved, as it will increase the awareness of how important the Air Ambulance is and how textile recycling can make an impact, helping millions of people.”

BIU Group works with a number of Air Ambulance charities across the UK, helping them to continue saving lives. Textile recycling banks and organisations like BIU Group have become a vital lifeline for many local charities.

Working with BIU Group also allows companies to illustrate their environmental responsibility and concern, as well as their corporate social responsibility by reducing the amount of clothing and textiles sent to landfill and giving back to the groups, communities and charities that need it the most.

To date, BIU Group has raised over £5 million for its partner charities, through its textile recycling operations and corporate partnerships.

BIU Group

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