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First I:CO City Initiative Helping San Francisco Achieve Zero Textile Waste

I:CO, a leading global, end-to-end solutions provider for the reuse and recycling of clothing, shoes and other textiles, today launches its first-ever I:CO City initiative with the City of San Francisco. The launch creates a public, private and non-profit infrastructure to make it easy, convenient and rewarding for residents and businesses to recycle textile-related items.

In alignment with San Francisco’s goal of zero waste by 2020, I:CO will serve as the lead textile collection and processing partner to divert this waste from landfill and give these items new life.

Along with the city, I:CO and its retail partners H&M, The North Face, American Eagle Outfitters and Levi Strauss & Co., along with the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and Goodwill Industries, sent a strong message of their collective commitment to the goal and implementation of the initiative. Additional I:CO retailers supporting the launch are Puma, Forever21 and Skunkfunk.

“We are very honored to be working with the City of San Francisco on this critical initiative,” said Stephan Wiegand, CEO of I:CO. “This program will bring much-needed awareness of the textile waste challenge and help create a new consciousness around sustainable consumption. I:CO provides a simple solution for doing something good. We are excited about the impact our services and expertise can have on a city-wide scale.”

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the US generates an average 25 billion pounds of textiles a year, equaling to 82 pounds per person. A shocking 85 percent ends up in landfill per year, contributing harmful greenhouse gases as fabrics decompose. Textile waste is completely avoidable, and many local governments, organizations and companies are starting to set zero waste goals.

I:CO is the only player that is addressing the issue of textile waste globally. I:CO’s 2020 goal is to collect 100 percent of clothing and shoes in an upcycling process, not only through its collection and sorting programs, but through partnerships with manufacturers to design products with future uses in mind.“I:CO is signaling one of the most important intentions being manifested in the world of redesign: circulating things humans make with an endless material, energy and creative resourcefulness,” said William McDonough, sustainability thought leader and founder of the Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Institute. “I:CO is instigating and provoking clothing and shoe collection programs that allow commerce to take in these items and reutilize, renew and regenerate with them. Nature reuses everything it produces; I:CO is an invaluable piece of a movement that will ultimately allow manufacturers, retailers and their customers to emulate natural systems, circulating materials in endless beneficial reuse.”

I:CO partners with brands to collect used clothing and shoes at retail outlets and reward customers for their efforts, effectively extending product responsibility for the manufacturer, increasing product lifespan and creating a profitable experience. Through extensive procedures, textiles are sorted using upwards of 400 criteria to allocate as second-hand clothing, reuse as cloth, recycle into fibers and paddings or upcycle into a product of equal or higher quality.


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