Here’s the truth about fashion: It changes quickly. So what do you do when you’re stuck with a closet full of barely worn shirts, dresses and shoes?
Starting in September, New York City will launch one of the largest textile recycling initiatives in the nation. The aim is to make it easy to donate clothing, almost as easy as throwing it away. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, each American trashes almost 10 pounds of socks, jeans, shirts and sheets per year. In New York (where 190,000 tons of textiles entered the city’s landfills in 2008 alone) the plan places 50 collection bins in high-traffic areas.
The city is taking bids for a 10- to 15-year contract with a nonprofit company that will be responsible for the bins. Goodwill Industries International is one of the companies bidding on the contract.
Start of something big? Officials say that if New York’s campaign is successful, it could lead to a nationwide movement to recycle clothing. Not only would that clear up some room in the nation’s landfills, it could also create jobs, said Brenda Platt, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance based in Washington, D.C. She profiled 20 textile recycling companies and estimates that the industry creates 85 times more jobs than landfills.
Wearable Collections (www.wearablecollections.com):
THE PROBLEM. According to a recent study, 386 million pounds of textiles enter the NYC waste stream annually, representing close to 6% of total waste.
THE SOLUTION. Wearable Collections provides a no cost, turn-key solution to recycling clothing within residential buildings in NYC. We handle all the logistics from placement of bins and promotion within the buildings to scheduling weekly pick-ups.
THE BENEFIT. Through our established network we distribute your discarded clothing around the world to people who need it, enabling us to raise money for charitable organizations.