Press Release
People are donating more, but they’re still throwing away a sh!rt ton

Savers’ State of Reuse Report examines the impact of reuse

BELLEVUE, WA – Savers, a global purpose-driven thrift retailer, launched its second annual State of Reuse Report to call attention to the importance of reuse. Examining the donation habits of North Americans, the State of Reuse Report reveals an opportunity to benefit local communities and the environment through increased public knowledge of what items can be donated, rather than thrown away.

“As a company dedicated to reuse, it’s our mission to encourage others to address the growing issue of textile waste,” said Duane Woods, Chairman & CEO of Savers. “We launched the State of Reuse Report last year to educate the public on reuse, and education continues to be our primary motivation. This year’s report is intended to not only shed light on the problem of reusable items ending up in landfills, but to inspire action. We want individuals to “give a sh!rt” about their clothing footprint.”

Key Findings

The key findings of the State of Reuse Report show that North Americans are donating more, yet more than half (54 percent) still admitted to throwing clothing or household goods in the trash in 2016. There is still opportunity to educate people on the community and environmental benefits of donating.

  • More stuff, more donations: As North Americans become more cluttered (46 percent said they have “too much stuff” – a 4 percentage point increase from last year), the good news is they’re also continuing to donate more – with eight in 10 North Americans reporting they donated in 2016, and 33 percent explicitly noting they donated more in 2016 than they did in 2015. Looking ahead, 17 percent of North Americans anticipate donating even more in 2017.
  • Recyclable items are still ending up in landfills: Despite a rise in donations, 54 percent of North Americans said they threw away unwanted clothing or household goods. When asked why they chose to toss items, 62 percent didn’t think any donation center would take them and nearly one in five didn’t know what to do with them.
  • Greater awareness will improve the environment: Additionally, the report reveals an opportunity to shift public perspective and elevate the act of donating goods as a reuse and recycling effort. When asked what activities are the most associated with helping the environment, donating clothing ranked fourth, behind recycling cans, paper and bottles, using recyclable or reusable grocery bags, and limiting water usage.
  • Thinking local will have a global impact: Despite reuse misperceptions, people do understand their donations can make an impact in their local community. When forced to choose between their donations benefitting the community or the environment, 51 percent would prefer to help their local community over 13 percent who would prefer to help the environment. Therefore, communicating the community benefits of donating should help encourage people to donate, and the benefits to the planet will follow.

With the average North American throwing away 81 pounds of textiles a year, the Savers State of Reuse Report invites individuals to understand and embrace the power of reuse. Choosing to drop off unwanted clothing, textiles and household goods at a donation center rather than dumping in a trash bin and shopping secondhand rather than buying new are two simple, yet impactful steps individuals can take to “give a sh!rt TM” about their clothing footprint. That’s why this year, Savers is challenging consumers to take part and help divert one billion pounds of textiles and household goods from landfills. Join in on the Billion Pound Challenge by donating your unwanted items to nonprofit organizations at Savers or Value Village stores, rather than throwing them in the trash. We’ll weigh in on December 31.

To read the full 2017 State of Reuse Report and learn more about the Billion Pound Challenge, visit www.rethinkreuse.com.

About Savers

Savers is a purpose-driven global thrift retailer offering clothing and accessories for men, women and children and household goods. Through its unique business model of purchasing, reselling and recycling secondhand merchandise, the Savers family of thrift stores (including Value Village, Unique Thrift and Village des Valeurs brands) benefits more than 120 nonprofit charitable organizations, gives local consumers a smart way to shop and saves more than 700 million pounds of quality used goods from landfills each year. Savers pays its nonprofit partners for donated goods, turning otherwise unused items into sustainable funding that supports their missions. Savers operates more than 320 locations with 22,000 employees in the United States, Canada and Australia. For more information, please visit www.savers.com.

TVI, Inc. d/b/a Savers and Value Village is a for-profit professional fundraiser. Visit savers.com/disclosures for state specific disclosures.

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