Old Navy Launches Earth Day Initiative Supporting Young Environmental Advocates

Old Navy is investing in the next generation for its Earth Day initiative.

The retailer is teaming with 11-year-old activist Ryan Hickman, who is behind Ryan’s Recycling Company, to celebrate the 51st anniversary of Earth Day by allocating funds to 51 GoFundMe projects also run by young advocates leading environmental change in their communities.

Through the initiative, Old Navy has named Hickman as the company’s “head of funcycling” and has invested in his Project 3R program, which is dedicated to bringing awareness to recycling. In his role, Hickman will help the retailer choose the 51 projects to donate to now through the end of the year.

“I’m really passionate about recycling and taking care of our environment and that’s why I’m so excited to be partnering with Old Navy to make plastic waste a thing of the past,” Hickman said in a statement. “Together we will work to raise awareness and support those that are making a difference in their communities. I am a strong believer that we can make a big impact when we all work together.”

Along with the initiative, Old Navy’s parent company, Gap Inc., has announced the elimination of single-use plastics by its brands by 2030. By 2023, Old Navy is also eliminating all plastic shopping bags in its U.S. and Canada stores. The plastic bags will be replaced with paper bags made from 40 percent post-consumer waste material. By the end of this year, the brand will have expanded its plastic hanger recycling program to all of its U.S. and Canada stores.

Old Navy’s Earth Day initiative comes at a time when sustainability and eco-friendly practices have become even more important for the consumer. In a report released by the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, 61 percent of brands and retailers surveyed said that customer demand for environmentally sustainable practices and goods and services has increased. The report also shows that 69 percent of brands and retailers believe the pandemic has made customers value environmentally friendly products more.

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