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Five fashionable ways to recycle in the Middle East

Here's how you can help...
Being environmentally friendly is an important consideration for everyone and it's not as difficult as you may think...

Being eco-friendly is no longer a choice for many of the world’s top brands, but rather a long-awaited requirement to ensure the longevity of the environment from which the fashion and beauty industries, in particular, take so much. For example, just last month, Gucci confirmed it would no longer use angora and e-commerce platform ASOS announced it will no longer sell feathers, mohair, silk or cashmere, too. Far more than a passing trend, like cowboy boots or tiny sunglasses, caring for the environment is part of a new long-term strategy for many brands. And it should be something those of us at home care about also. 

Here in the Middle East, where recycling is not as strict as other parts of the world, there are five easy ways you can either recycle or trade in some of your used items — and in return for cash or products, no less. Here’s how…

1. The Luxury Closet

Founded in 2011, Dubai-based e-commerce site The Luxury Closet is known for buying and selling new and used luxury items like handbags, clothes, watches and jewellery. You can easily sell one your beloved Chanel handbags and then shop a new jewellery piece from Van Cleef & Arpels, whilst also taking a browse through Louis Vuitton, Rolex, Cartier, Celine, Bulgari and Givenchy pieces. Although not technically recycling, it does help stop the participation in shopping fast fashion. 

2. Designer-24

Co-founders Sara Alemzadeh and Ranya Khalil Aghamardi found a gap in the market and decided to launch a hire service that made luxury fashion more accessible to people around the UAE. The same way designers lend their pieces to celebrities, the online platform is doing the same for its users by providing a range of designer dresses for rent. This in turn helps give garments a greater shelf life, and helps to cut down the amount of unworn clothing that ends up in landfills globally.

3. M.A.C Cosmetics

M.A.C Cosmetics is known for its vast array of high quality products and cult-level items (most people reading this will surely have a Ruby Woo lipstick or two in their possession). But the brand also has its own recycling program called Back to M.A.C. The program allows you to return six primary packaging containers (whether lipsticks or palettes) to any M.A.C counter across the Middle East and upon doing so, you’ll receive a free lipstick of your choice. 

4. Kiehl’s 

Similar to M.A.C’s recycling program, American cosmetics label Kiehl’s also has a ‘recycle and be rewarded’ program of its own. The beauty label gives its users one stamp for every empty container they bring back to the store. Once you’ve received ten stamps, you’ll be gifted one of the brand’s signature formulas in a travel-sized package. 

5. Apple

We’ve all likely got an older generation iPod or iPad just laying around the house somewhere. But it’s time to round them up because you can bring your old Apple items to an Apple store and trade them in (provided they are in good, functioning condition) for an Apple Store Gift Card. And even if the item is slightly damaged or just does not work anymore, the tech giant will recycle it for free and can turn it into something good for the planet. It’s a win-win both ways! 

Now, take a look at five of the world’s best eco-friendly luxury hotels