How to get free high-street vouchers for old homeware and tech

When it pays to recycle

If you’re getting ready for a bank holiday declutter, you’ll be delighted to hear that some retailers offer vouchers when you hand over your unwanted goods at their stores. 

Ikea and Currys are two retailers that reward customers with vouchers if you offload their unwanted furniture, or tech, respectively, in store. Other high-street retailers are following the trend, with M&S, George at Asda and H&M offering vouchers when you donate home textiles such as curtains, towels and tablecloths. 

These incentive schemes encourage us to recycle responsibly and reduce the chances of items ending up in landfill. If you don’t want the hassle of selling your stuff privately, they’re ideal. 

Recycling box full of clothes and textiles.Credit: Shutterstock/Mariia Korneeva
Curating your clothes can be an easy way to start the process

1. Ikea

Buyback & Resell scheme

Ikea is possibly the first of its kind to encourage customers to recycle their unwanted furniture through its Buyback & Resell scheme. The Swedish furniture store is offering to buy back customers’ furniture to avoid it being unused or ending up in landfill. 

The amount you receive is based on the store’s on-site valuation of the items you bring to recycle, so you’ll get more if your items are in better condition or like new. Customers will receive the Buyback amount on a gift card to spend in store or online. 

Do you have any Ikea furniture that could help someone furnish their home? Ikea has a Buyback estimator tool to give you an idea of what your items are worth. It’s worth noting there are only certain types of furniture that Ikea will accept – it won’t buy back sofas, beds, mattresses and kitchens, for example. And you will need to return any furniture fully assembled. 

So, what happens to the furniture? It’s resold in the Circular Hub section of your local store, allowing the original owner to save against another home purchase while giving others a chance to pick up used Ikea furniture at a great price. 

Ikea is already well known for its voucher generosity. During December 2022, customers buying a real Christmas tree in store for £25 received a £10 voucher to spend from January 9 to February 15, 2023. It’s a scheme that’s been running for a few years, so we hope it continues this Christmas.  

2. Currys

Cash for trash

Currys is offering at least £5 off your next purchase when you bring in an old tech item to recycle through its Cash for Trash incentive. And the best bit is that – unlike Ikea’s scheme – it doesn’t matter where the device was originally purchased. The £5 reward can be redeemed against any purchase of £25 or above. You’ll receive the voucher in store at the same time as recycling your tech, meaning you won’t have to make a second trip to spend your reward. 

What items qualify for recycling? You can take in any electrical item that uses a battery or mains supply, whether it’s working or not.

3. M&S and Oxfam

Get Shwopping

You could receive a £5 M&S voucher off a £35 clothing, homeware and beauty spend, if you bring your unwanted textiles to any M&S or Oxfam store. This is welcome news to any of us with bedlinen, towels, cushions, curtains, throws, aprons, tablecloths and napkins that have seen better days. 

M&S teamed up with Oxfam to launch its Shwopping scheme back in 2012. Clothing items and textiles donated to M&S are given a chance to be sold again by Oxfam. Nothing goes to landfill as items unsuitable for resale are recycled into mattress stuffing or carpet underlay.   

To qualify for the voucher, your donation must contain at least one item with an M&S label on the clothing or soft furnishing. Sale and clearance items are excluded from the scheme and you must be an M&S ‘Sparks’ (customer reward scheme) customer to gain the discount. 

4. George at Asda

Take back

George at Asda offers customers a 10% discount voucher to spend at George.com when you donate unwanted home textiles and clothing in store. While that might not seem like a huge amount initially, it can make a decent dent in the price of, say, a new wardrobe or microwave. 

The process isn’t quite as easy as other retailers’ schemes. You’ll need to pack at least 10 items in a parcel, obtain a QR code online, and then go to the store to print a label, before posting your parcel into a signposted drop box or at a clickandcollect kiosk. Once you’ve dropped off your items and they’ve been processed, you’ll receive the 10% voucher by email. 

For now, George doesn’t accept home appliances or ‘annoying relatives’. (You’ll have to check the website to find out if the last one’s true!) 

Credit: Shutterstock/Redaktion93

5. H&M

Close the loop

Pop into your local H&M store with a bag of unwanted home textiles or clothing to claim a £5 off voucher to redeem against a £25 minimum spend. Don’t worry if you haven’t any H&M items to donate, as the store will accept textiles from any brand.  

Once received the items are split into three categories to re-wear, reuse or recycle – nothing is wasted. H&M’s garment collection is part of the company’s endeavour to ‘close the loop’ by reusing or recycling fashion to protect the planet. 

We’re big fans of H&M’s stylish homeware – if you haven’t checked it out in a while, this designer lookalike metal table lamp is a steal at £34.99. And there’s plenty more to spend your vouchers on.  

How are other retailers supporting recycling?

While some stores offer recycling for both clothing and home textiles, for now, many only recycle clothing. But your interiors can still get a boost from those stores which only accept clothing, as there’s no restrictions on what you spend your vouchers on.  

For instance, if you want to purchase homewares from John Lewis any time soon, it’s worth being aware of its FashionCycle initiative. Although John Lewis only accepts pre-loved clothing rather than home textiles, you can spend the £5 voucher you receive for your donation on homewares.   

How does it work? Customers must sign up to become a John Lewis member before bringing five or more clothing items to a store. Rather than donating the items directly and receiving a voucher, you’ll need to make a fashion or home purchase with a minimum spend of £20 before receiving the £5 reward. If you’re purchasing homeware, you’ll need to show your John Lewis card and hand over your donation at the checkout to receive a discount on the purchase price. 

Recycling dropoff points 

Aside from voucher schemes, some stores offer free recycling under the Retailer Take-back Scheme. So if you’re buying a new toaster, for example, you can recycle your old one at the same store, provided they are part of the scheme and regardless of where the item was purchased originally. You may not get a voucher, but you can at least sleep easy knowing your old things will be recycled wherever possible. 

So which retailers are taking part? According to Recycle Your Electricals, all large electrical and electronic sellers with significant retail space will take your old items on a like-for-like basis.

However, some stores, such as Currys, already accept any unwanted electrical items in their stores, regardless of whether you are buying a new electrical item with them.  

Discover where you can recycle your electrical items. 

It’s good to see that retailers are supporting recycling and making it easier for customers to recycle their items. Let’s hope the trend continues and that we see more stores accepting a wider range of homeware, including furniture. At Exceptional, we’ll keep a close eye on the market and will update you when more brands start offering recycling services and juicy incentives for your household items 

Camilla Sharman

Written by Camilla Sharman she/her

Updated:

With her 30 years of experience, Camilla Sharman has covered a wide range of sectors within the business and consumer industries both as a feature, content, and freelance writer.  As a business journalist, Camilla has researched articles for many different sectors from the jewellery industry to finance and tech, charities, and the arts. Whatever she’s covered, she enjoys delving deep and learning the ins and out of different topics, then conveying her research within engaging content that informs the reader.