Red Cross Iceland

Red Cross Iceland
Jakob Halldorsson
The single most effective collection system for used or discared clothing in Iceland.

The Red Cross Iceland is nominated for the 2023 Nordic Council Environment Prize.  

The Red Cross has had a large impact on people's knowledge of textile waste and in encouraging reuse and recycling of clothing. The Red Cross operates the largest collection of textile waste in Iceland, in cooperation with other entities such as the municipalities. Through more than 130 collection points they provide access to dispense of used clothing and other textiles into an organized collection system of reuse or recycling.   

In 2021 they collected close to 2.300 tons of textiles making the Red Cross the single most effective collection system in Iceland. Textiles that can not be reused or recycled in Iceland are then sent to recycling stations in Europe. 

The Red Cross is also active in promoting reuse of clothes as well as distributing them among those in need. A considerable part of the collected clothes are resold in the 19 Red Cross stores across Iceland and recently, a facility for the distribution of used clothes for refugees and applicants for asylum in Iceland opened.  

The Red Cross is active in public outreach and education about sustainable reuse and recycling of textiles and they also collaborate with various artists and designers in Iceland providing them with used textiles as raw material.