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  • Writer's pictureThe Clutter Whisperers

Rags to Riches for a Cleaner Planet

Less Clutter, Less Waste, Less Environmental Impact

There’s a new buzzword going around the clothing industry that maybe you’ve heard of - Circular Fashion. Basically, recycling or repurposing old clothes into other textiles or garments to extend their life.

Several national brands have given this an enthusiastic “Yes!” and encourage their clients to return their old clothes in return for a store/brand discount. So everyone wins!

Customers have incentives to get rid of old clothes, and get a discount on new things; the company shows its commitment to decreasing their carbon footprint; and the planet benefits by reducing the 92 million tons of garments that end up in landfills EVERY YEAR!

Here are some companies that are committed to reusing and recycling clothing:

H&M. They collect old clothes and home textiles (towels, sheets) no matter the condition or brand. And you get a coupon for 15% off your next purchase! H&M has several sustainability programs including the Conscious Collection which is created with recycled fabric.

Levi Strauss. The iconic jeans brand encourages customers to repair old jeans before throwing them out.

Levi’s Tailor Shops can extend their wearing life by mending hems, replacing zippers, buttons and more. And now you can bring your old jeans to any Levi’s store, and they’ll give you 20% discount voucher!

Madewell. Drop off any brand of your favorite jeans at a Madewell store, and they thank you with a 20% discount on new clothes. They partner with Cotton’s Blue Jeans Go Green which actually recycles the fabrics into home insulation for needy communities.

The North Face. Drop off your used clothing or shoes and they’ll thank you with a voucher for $10 off your next purchase (minimum $100). The Clothes the Loop program keeps clothes out of landfills by breaking them down into raw materials and using them for things like carpet padding, toy stuffing, insulation, and fabric for new clothing. The North Face has a new line called Circular Design, which are clothes designed to be recyclable.

Patagonia. Patagonia focuses on extending the life of a garment. They have over 100 DIY repair and care videos from a partnership with infixed and have their own Worn Wear line of used clothing they have cleaned and repaired, sold at a considerable discount. You can bring your old Patagonia gear to a store near you, and they’ll get it to a textile recycler. You’ll get a discount card for your next purchase, too!

Eileen Fisher. This company buys back its garments from customers at $5 each and reworks the material into new merchandise, under its Renew brand. Only items in great condition are re-sold (after cleaning) with the others getting recycled into felted blankets, carpets, and coats. Some are deconstructed and turned into original works of art by artist Sige Ahl, through the Waste No More program.

Nike. Nike has a Reuse-a-Shoe initiative where they take old Nike sneakers for recycling and repurposing. Their Move to Zero program demonstrates their commitment to moving toward zero waste and zero carbon emissions. Drop your old shoes off at (select) stores, and they’ll sort it, donate the pairs that are still usable, and send the rest to a recycling plant.

Stella McCartney. Luxury brand Stella McCartney incentivizes customers to consign their lightly used pieces through online consignment store Herbaria, to further extend their life. Consignors receive a $100 gift card to the Stella MacCartney store. Her new Air Slide sandals are the first McCartney style created with recycled manufacturing waste.

So declutter for the planet! Go through your closet(s) and feel good about discarding clothes you never wear, are tired of, don’t fit, or are otherwise undesirable.

If you have any of these brands, take them back to the store now for a thank-you gift.

You’ll love your new decluttered space and know you’re helping keep tons of textiles out of landfill.

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