ASOS is making a big change to its returns system for the benefit of the planet

If you’re a keen online shopper, chances are you spend a decent percentage of your scrolling time on the ASOS website. Whether you’re a curated saved items tab kind of purchaser, or can’t resist the siren song of a flash sale or discount code, thousands of us place orders with the retailer every single day.

However, whether it’s because we’ve ordered multiple sizes to ensure the right fit, or our items don’t live up to our expectations when the black and white bag of joy lands on our doorsteps, the fact that ASOS doesn’t have a physical store means that thousands of us also end up sending returns shortly afterwards.

ASOS paper returns slips
Alamy Stock Photo

Unsurprisingly, this isn’t the most eco-friendly of processes, but ASOS has recognised this and is making changes – the most recent of which is the removal of paper slips that are included with every delivery.

‘As part of our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint, we’re officially switching over to online returns,’ the brand explained in a recent email to customers. ‘That’s right: say farewell to those pesky paper returns slips inside your ASOS orders for good.’

While it may sound like a small step, 64 million of these slips are sent out every year, and it’s estimated that 8,450 trees and more than 320,000 kg of paper will be saved every 12 months under the new measures, so it’ll have a significant impact.

Sending products back to ASOS will still be simple – instead of filling out the printed form, you’ll log into your account, select the ‘create return’ option, select the items you want to post, and a confirmation email and QR code to take the to post office will be generated.

ASOS returns
Alamy Stock Photo

Last year, ASOS signed the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, which aims to tackle the ongoing issue of plastic waste. In line with this, it has also committed to making its mailer bags from 100 per cent recycled plastic, as well as reducing the amount of packaging used in general in each send.

It’s all a shift in the right direction – here’s hoping other shops follow suit sooner rather than later.