What do you do with your old outdoors gear, including jackets, apparel, and footwear when they are worn out?
The North Face is making it easier for anyone to recycle old gear from any brand. The items can be used or completely worn out and past their usable life cycle.
In 2013, the company added apparel and footwear recycling bins to a handful of its retail locations as a test.
This week, the company rolls out the recycling program, called Clothes the Loop, at all of its 83 stores in the United States.
TNF notes the initiative was created to “encourage consumers to recycle unwanted apparel and footwear from any brand.”
This is a needed trend: According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, an estimated 24 billion pounds of post-consumer textile waste goes to landfills each year — the equivalent of about 70 pounds of textiles per person.
Instead of ending up in a landfill, all the goods dropped off at Clothes The Loop bins are either given to charities to help people in need of clothing and shoes, or re-used.
Some of the materials are repurposed for new product manufacturing, The North Face notes.
While there are already lots of places to drop old clothes, there are limited options to recycle apparel that is truly past its usable life.
The initiative gives consumers one more way to keep old apparel out of the landfill and even help the less fortunate.
It’s something we can certainly support, so keep the program in mind the next time you clean your gear closet.
Final note: In celebration of Earth Day, from April 20 – April 26, 2015, 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.
See more info at the company’s Clothes the Loop page.