Clothing retailer Girlfriend Collective has launched a recycling program called reGirlfriend. It gives customers in-store credit for mailing in their old unwanted clothes — which are then recycled into new Girlfriend products.
What is Girlfriend Collective’s recycling program?
The process is simple: First, you buy a shipping label from Girlfriend’s website. Next, put your used Girlfriend item in the mail with the label attached. After that, the company recycles the material from your unwanted goods into new products — and you get a $15 credit toward future Girlfriend purchases.
At a facility in North Carolina, Girlfriend Collective’s partner Unifi disassembles old clothes and breaks them down so they can be spun into new yarn, which is then used to produce new Girlfriend products.
The company first started its recycling efforts by upcycling old water bottles into textile products, and now, it can continuously make new clothes out of old ones.
Why is recycling your clothes important?
Recycling programs like Girlfriend’s have one primary benefit for consumers: money in your pocket. But recycling your clothes has an even stronger environmental impact than a financial one.
Textile waste has increased tenfold since the EPA began tracking it in 1960, and it has jumped more than 80% since 2000. Less than 20% of that waste is recycled into new products, which means the vast majority of the clothes we throw out end up in landfills, where they take decades to break down and contribute to the dangerous overheating of our planet. On average, every American throws away more than 80 pounds of waste per year.
By recycling products like clothes, we help to close the loop, giving new life to old materials instead of letting them waste away in landfills as we consume new ones.
Girlfriend Collective’s program is just one of many that can help us reduce the waste we generate. There are others that give you cash for recycling clothes, as well as similar programs for shoes and makeup products.
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