The Limited will launch a recycling program on Friday in partnership with I:Co, a global solutions provider for apparel reuse and recycling, adding to the push toward textile and apparel repurposing.
Under the program, The Limited will accept old denim and give it new life in its 110 stores through Oct. 10. The Limited has about 250 mall locations throughout the U.S.
The Limited noted that it’s a client-focused brand that strives to develop partnerships that resonate well with its consumers. Throughout 2016, a major focus for the company has been to align the brand with well-known, mission-driven programs.
“A large percentage of our clients have told us that they prefer shopping at a retailer where they can receive a discount on great product, while helping to support a socially responsible cause,” said Diane Ellis, chief executive officer of The Limited.
To help keep denim out of landfills, customers can drop off any brand of denim at any of The Limited’s participating stores and receive a $20 coupon for each pair they bring in.
Each $20 coupon can be redeemed toward one new pair of Universal Stretch denim jeans. The Limited recently introduced the line of premium Universal Stretch denim that offers a flattering fit for every body shape. The Limited tested countless premium fabrics to find the perfect one that provides just the right amount of stretch, while conforming to a women’s shape and also has a soft hand. The new denim collection retails from $79.95 to $89.95 and comes in a multitude of washes and leg shapes.
I:Co will rehome the old denim, repurpose it or recycle it into raw materials for other products such as insulation, carpet padding and even fiber for apparel.
The recycling of denim has become more widespread as the awareness of the amount of textile product that winds up in landfills comes to the front.
Last month, Guess Inc. partnered with Cotton Incorporated’s Blue Jeans Go Green program by launching a fall Denim Recycling Campaign. The campaign is taking place in more than 160 Guess stores in the U.S. and Canada through Oct. The Blue Jeans Go Green denim-recycling program gives recycled denim “new life” and converting it to UltraTouch Denim Insulation.
H&M has a recycled denim collection, while Levis Strauss & Co. teamed with textile technology start-up Evrnu SPC to create jeans made from regenerated post-consumer cotton waste.
Last year, The North Face’s Clothes the Loop in-store recycling program had as its goal to recycle 100,000 pounds of apparel and footwear in 2015.
A June report from Savers showed that people vastly underestimate the amount of clothing and textiles they throw away each year — at an average of 4.7 trash bags worth, while the actual amount disposed is nearly double, 8.1 trash bags worth.
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, accounting for some 5 percent of all space.
The Savers report noted that 54 percent of survey respondents admit to throwing away their clothing and textiles because they don’t think any donation center would take them. About one-third said they didn’t know that 90 percent of textiles and apparel can be reused or recycled.
I:Co’s innovative retail take back system and worldwide infrastructure aims to keep used apparel and footwear in a closed loop production cycle where these goods can be reprocessed and reused continuously. This reduces waste, preserves material resources, protects the environment and enables sustainable consumption. I:Co has take-back programs with more than 60 retail partners on six continents.