To help deal with the 85% of unwanted clothing sent to landfills in the US, global denim company Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.) has expanded its clothing recycling initiative to all of its mainline and outlet stores.
As part of the roll out, consumers may drop-off any brand of clean, dry clothing or shoes in the collection boxes at their local Levi’s store. Any consumer who brings an item of clothing to recycle will receive a voucher for 20% off a single, regular-priced item in-store.
Annually, Americans discard more than 28 billion pounds of unwanted clothing, shoes and other textiles. Charitable organizations and others collect roughly 15% of these items, while the remaining 85% — 24 billion pounds — end up in landfill.
The company said the clothing recycling initiative is part of a wider sustainability goal to support a circular economy by 2020.
In the apparel industry, this refers to designing a product from cradle-to-cradle rather than cradle-to-grave. For example, in 2014, with its pilot of Wellthread, LS&Co. designers created 100% recyclable product from a single fiber – cotton.
Michael Kobori, vice president of sustainability at Levi Strauss & Co, said: “Collecting used clothing at our stores makes it simple and easy for consumers to do their part and builds upon our commitment to do the right thing for the environment.”