The North Face recently announced its Clothes The Loop recycling program, an initiative designed to reduce the amount of clothing and footwear that goes to landfills. Through a partnership with I:CO USA, the Clothes The Loop program extends the lifecycle of apparel and footwear deposited by consumers by reusing items or reverting them to basic materials for manufacturing. In 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated that roughly 22 billion pounds of post-consumer textile waste ended up in landfills.
“We’ve always been dedicated to building products that last, backed by a lifetime warranty, allowing people to depend on our products and minimize the need to buy more,” said Adam Mott, The North Face CorporateSustainability Manager. “Our partnership with I:CO takes our commitment to reducing waste even further by providing our customers with an alternative end for products they no longer want or need, keeping these items from landfills and protecting our natural playgrounds.”
Specially marked Clothes The Loop bins can now be found in 10 participating The North Face retail stores, including Chicago (Michigan Ave), New York and San Francisco. In order to have the largest impact, the Clothes The Loop program accepts used apparel and footwear from any brand, no matter the condition. This includes anything from t-shirts and beanies to hiking boots and sandals. Apparel and footwear contributions automatically earn customers one discount voucher per day to be used towards purchase of The North Face products.
Items collected through Clothes The Loop are sent to an I:CO recycling center where they are sorted into over 400 categories and designated either to be resold or recycled into raw materials such as insulation, carpet padding and stuffing for toys. The North Face will donate any proceeds accrued through the Clothes the Loop pilot to The Conservation Alliance, which funds community-based campaigns to protect outdoor areas for their habitat and recreation values.
”I:CO’s goal is to create an endless loop of material reprocessing by giving used clothing and shoes a new life,” said Stephan Wiegand, CEO of I:CO. “This helps reduce waste and save precious natural resources. By making it easy and rewarding to bring in these unwanted items, The North Face Clothes the Loop Program empowers consumers to get involved and make a difference. We are pleased to partner with The North Face on this important program and on furthering their commitment to protect our outdoor environment.”
Through their sorting and grading infrastructure, I:CO produces less than 2% residual waste. I:CO’s goal is to reach 100 percent closed loop recycling of unwanted apparel and footwear by 2020.
For more information about “Clothes The Loop” or The North Face’s partnership with I:CO, please visit: www.thenorthface.com/clothestheloop.