TRAID stands for Textile Recycling for Aid and International Development. We are a registered charity with three main objectives:
- To protect the environment by diverting clothes and shoes from landfill;
- To reduce world poverty by raising funds for overseas development projects; and
- To educate the UK public on environmental and world poverty issues.
In 1999, TRAID's current Chairman Ian Hagg, worked with the Charity Commission to close down Humana UK due to concerns over how the organisation was managed and funded. The remaining assets were used to establish TRAID in July 1999, a brand new charity dedicated to raising funds for international development by reusing and recycling unwanted clothes and shoes in the UK.
Since its launch, TRAID has gone from strength to strength and has won accolades for its ability to bring messages of recycling, fashion and world poverty to the general public and mainstream press.
In 1999, TRAID met Wayne Hemingway, founder of Red or Dead and famous for his love of second-hand clothes. Wayne agreed to become TRAID's patron and has supported the organisation through many events and interviews since.
TRAID's chain of retail shops expanded outside of London when TRAID Brighton opened in 2000.
In 2001, TRAIDremade was born when TRAID staff recognised the waste created by damaged clothing donated to TRAID. Instead of sending these pieces to landfill, TRAID decided to customise the clothing into new one-off items and sell them under a recycled fashion label.
In January 2002, TRAID brought second-hand and recycled clothing to the mainstream through a lucrative partnership with Topman. The leading high street chain bought second-hand, vintage and customised clothing from TRAID and stocked it in its Oxford Circus outlet until June 2003.
In 2003, TRAID launched its first Bag for Life, which was designed by Wayne Hemingway. The same year, TRAIDremade was a finalist in the National Recycling Awards.
TRAID established its hugely popular Education Programme at the end of 2003. Having started as a simple assembly addressing textile waste and recycling, school visits now consist of discussion activities on the relationship between climate change and world poverty, hands-on customising workshops and culminating events such as photoshoots and fashion shows.