Columbia Sportswear is enhancing the purpose its ReThreads program for a limited time: the retailer announced it will donate $1.00 to select non-profit organizations for every pound of clothing and shoes collected at its stores through March 27, 2018. Columbia works in conjunction with I:Collect (I:CO) to collect used clothes and shoes at its stores, which I:CO then ensures reuse or repurpose through its end-of-life service.
Columbia’s addition to its existing ReThreads program comes just days after Target announced its own new take-back program in collaboration with I:CO. Target’s program is meant to help address the more than 35 billion pounds of textile waste forecast for next year.
The two-week trial denim exchange will see Pacific Northwest stores offering customers a 20% discount on new jeans when they exchange old denim clothing. I:CO expects to bring in 50,000 pounds of denim that would otherwise end up in landfills.
The denim will be professionally sorted and then either sold as second-hand items or recycled to become textiles for other products. Embellishments like buttons will be donated to the metalworking industry.
Other retailers working with I:CO include H&M, Adidas, American Eagle Outfitters, Forever 21, and C&A, among others.
The US generates about 25 billion pounds of textile waste each year, and just 15% is donated or recycled, according to nonprofit Council for Textile Recycling (via Supply Chain Dive).