The largest second-hand chain store in Norway | Knowledge Hub | Circle Economy Foundation
Business case
The largest second-hand chain store in Norway

Fretex Norway is the largest collector of used clothes and textiles in Norway. With a total of 40 second-hand stores and 1 online store, Fretex had a turnover in 2019 at 188 million NOK.


The fashion industry has a mammoth environmental footprint. At the same time there is a need to provide affordable clothing to all part of the society.


Fretex, the trading wing of Salvation Army, is the largest collector of used clothes and textiles in Norway, with over 3000 containers especially designed for this purpose. Fretex also have 2 facilities for receiving and handling all clothes and textiles in Norway. From 2014, Fretex in cooperation with the Norwegian Postal Service, allows you to deliver clothes and textiles in a specially designed bag that holds up to 8 Kg. This can be delivered at any of the 1400 postal offices in Norway, for a postal fee of 50 NOK. Fretex collects over 15000 tons of clothes and textiles every year. The clothes/textiles that can’t make use of in Norway, is exported and re-used in other countries.


Fretex International oversees the export to other customers in Europe, Pakistan and Iraq, some of these will further export clothes and textiles to Asia and Africa. Some of the clothes and textiles that cannot be re-used in its original form will be re-made into cloths or other products. To be able to close the loop, cloths are re-imported for sale to e.g., mechanical industries. Fretex is located in most Norwegian counties, working close with government agencies, private sector, donors and customers.

Relevant links
Key elements of the circular economy