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Today, some of the biggest names in fashion are collaborating for the first time in a campaign to save clothes from landfill in New York. Brands will work alongside New York City Department of Sanitation, New York City Economic Development Corporation, collectors, recyclers, resale companies, and Make Fashion Circular, as part of #WearNext – a city-wide effort to tackle waste and pollution in the fashion industry.
Every year New York City landfills 200 million pounds of clothing (equivalent to over 440 Statues of Liberty). Globally, 73% of the materials used to produce clothing are landfilled or burned at the end of their life, while less than 1% of old clothing goes on to be used to make new clothing.
Make Fashion Circular, launched by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in May 2018, is leading international efforts to establish a circular economy for fashion where business models increase the use of clothes, clothes are made from safe and renewable materials, and old clothes are used to make new ones.
From 4th March to 9th June, the Make Fashion Circular #WearNext campaign aims to make sure the city’s old clothes find a new life. Participating stores and other locations across the city will act as drop off points. Every available drop off point – more than 1,100 in total – is marked on a new online map created by the New York City Department of Sanitation, to make it as easy as possible to save clothes from being landfilled.
The campaign has been initiated by:
As customers, we know where we buy our clothes and we know where we have worn them, but #WearNext is about the next stage of that journey – where do our clothes go when we have finished with them? We believe clothes should never be trash. By bringing together these brands, along with the City of New York and recyclers, we have an opportunity to ensure New Yorkers can find a new life for their clothing. It is an important step, but we also need to recognise that customers alone cannot fix the fashion industry’s waste and pollution problems. We need the industry to work together to create a system where clothes are made from safe and renewable materials, new business models increase their use, and used clothes are turned into new ones.