Limited edition recycling banks provide light in more ways than one

published on 9 Jun 2015

- The Salvation Army partners with Central Saint Martins on innovative design for its clothes recycling banks in London and Manchester -

The Salvation Army has partnered with revered London art college, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, that sees the launch of a limited edition and innovative clothes recycling bank design. Three graduates from the college have been working with the Church and charity to create a vibrant design to draw attention to the work of The Salvation Army by showing how donating unwanted clothing will help some of the most vulnerable people in today’s society.

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Teams from The Salvation Army and Salvation Army Trading Company Ltd, which operates around 6,500 clothing recycling banks across the UK on behalf of the charity, gave the talented Central Saint Martins graduates a creative brief in February. They were tasked with the tough job of illustrating the wide breadth of the work of the Army, whose network provides valuable social welfare work, including homelessness and addiction services, care for older people, help at emergency incidents, support for adult victims of human trafficking in England and Wales, a Family Tracing Service and much, much more.

The graduates, Sonia Kneepkens, Maya Dufeu and Manuela Pereira, visited Salvation Army projects across London as well as Salvation Army Trading Company’s recycling centre in Northamptonshire to gather ideas and inspiration. The final artwork reflects The Salvation Army’s strong and steeped belief in providing light where there is darkness. For every donation made through the shoot of the innovative clothing bank, small LED lights will illuminate, and as the bank fills up, the LEDs illuminate one-by-one. This was intentionally designed to demonstrate a link to the value of the donation and how The Salvation Army makes use of it to help thousands of people across the country. Each donation helps to light up a life.

The two clothes recycling banks will be easily accessible in the car parks at Morrison’s supermarket in Chalk Farm (north London) and Asda supermarket in Hulme (Manchester).

Vivienne Whitaker, Marketing Resources Manager at The Salvation Army said: “The reach of The Salvation Army’s work goes so far and wide that capturing it all for the public to understand is never an easy task. The graduates at Central Saint Martins have managed to do this with the design of these clothing banks, as well as make an intelligent emotional connection to our mission. Sonia, Maya and Manuela have really got under the skin of our charitable work, and it clearly shows in the design. We’re so grateful for their efforts and very impressed with the results.”

Manuela Pereira (Central Saint Martins graduate), comments on what inspired her about the work of The Salvation Army: “When doing our research, we got to visit Salvation Army centres across London and see first-hand the work they do. I was amazed by the complexity and range of their work, but most of all, the caring and kind people that carry out the work. I think inspiration came from this positive and friendly feeling we experienced in every visit.”

Sonia Kneepkens (Central Saint Martins graduate), comments on what message they wanted to communicate to people who use the recycling banks? “The most important message is that every little contribution counts and everyone can contribute. One bag of clothes that we don't need anymore can still bring so much good to others. The design of the banks and the illustrations explain that it's not only about recycling clothes, but that the money raised from donation makes many different Salvation Army services possible. By donating even one bag of clothes – literally lighting up one more light on the bank – you become part of a community effort to make many important services possible.”

Maya Dufeu (Central Saint Martins graduate), comments on what she most enjoyed about the project: “I think there were two very different aspects to this project that made it so enjoyable. The first was the chance to meet and get to know such diverse groups of people that I would never normally find myself connecting with on a day-to-day basis. Honestly it was really eye-opening and put a lot of things into perspective for me. It showed me The Salvation Army’s willingness to help absolutely anyone; I saw a strong community empowering people to help themselves rather than just, say, a meal for the short term. They work really hard to help people build their lives back up, especially with the kids at Springfield Lodge, and that really resonated with me. The second aspect was more design-related; I loved the chance to take an existing, industrial object already in the environment and get to totally re-envisage the way it could be used.”

Read the graduate's biographies on the main Salvation Army website

Notes to editors

A press launch will be happening at both the Chalk Farm and Hulme sites. For more information, photography or for further comment, contact Catherine Hamou or Sophie Docker in the Media Office: /

General media office contact details: 020 3657 7555 /