The North Face today announced the expansion of its Clothes The Loop recycling program to all of its retail and outlet stores in the U.S. in tandem with an in-store and social media campaign to encourage consumers to recycle unwanted apparel and footwear from any brand in any condition.
Clothes The Loop extends the lifecycle of apparel and footwear brought in by consumers by giving them a new life through reusing items or reverting them to basic materials used for new product manufacturing. Initially piloted at 10 The North Face retail locations in February 2013, Clothes The Loop is now available in all 83 of The North Face retail and outlet stores nationwide.
The Issue of Textile Waste
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, an estimated 24 billion pounds of post-consumer textile waste (PCTW) goes to landfills each year – the equivalent of about 70 pounds of textiles per person. This accounts for nearly 5 percent of all landfill space, and this amount is growing: Between 1999 and 2009, the volume of PCTW grew by 40 percent, while the diversion rate only increased by 2 percent. Textile recycling has a major impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water usage; if 300 million Americans recycle just one t-shirt, we would avoid use of up to 210 billion gallons of water and keep up to 1 million pounds of CO2 out of our atmosphere.
Program Impacts to Date
Through Clothes The Loop, more than 14,540 pounds (7.27 tons) of apparel and footwear have been diverted from landfills so far.
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“We have seen fantastic results with this program to date and have received hundreds of requests from customers to expand it. We are excited about this momentum and continuing to scale effective apparel and footwear recycling for more responsible consumption,” Mott added.
In celebration of Earth Day, from April 20 until April 26, for each store visitor who brings in used products to a Clothes The Loop bin, The North Face will make a $5 donation to the Conversation Alliance, which funds community-based campaigns to protect outdoor areas for their habitat and recreation values – and of which the retailer is a founding member. During this time and throughout the year, apparel and footwear contributions will also automatically earn customers one discount voucher per day to be used towards purchase of The North Face products. Additional details on vouchers are available at www.thenorthface.com/clothestheloop.
Additionally, customers can take a photo of themselves recycling their products and share it on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtags #ClothesTheLoop and #TNFContest. Anyone who tags a friend to encourage them to recycle will be entered in a contest to win a $100 gift card. See the official contest rules.
How the Program Works
Clothes The Loop bins will be available in all 83 store locations. Through an ongoing partnership with textile recycler I:Collect (I:CO) – which has similar partnerships with H&M, American Eagle Outfitters and the City of San Francisco - Clothes The Loop accepts used apparel and footwear from any brand in any clean, dry condition. This includes anything from t-shirts and beanies to hiking boots and sandals.
Items collected through Clothes The Loop are sent to a recycling center where they are sorted into more than 350 categories and designated either to be reworn, repurposed or recycled into raw materials for other products such as insulation, carpet padding, stuffing for toys and even fiber for new apparel and footwear.