At Columbia, we are committed to taking a holistic, life cycle approach to managing the environmental impacts of the products we make. This includes extending the life of our products and keeping these products out of landfills once they have reached the end of their wearable life. In the U.S., 85% of clothing ends up in landfills – that equates to almost 24 billion lbs. of waste per year or 70 lbs. of waste per person per year.
Columbia is launching the ReThreads program in all U.S. Brand and Outlet locations.
Columbia’s Rethreads program encourages consumers to bring in their used clothing and shoes in clean, dry condition, to our participating retail stores to be given a new life. Find a Columbia store near you, here.)
In celebration of this ReThreads launch, Columbia will donate $1.00 for every pound of clothing collected at it’s stores through September 10th, 2017. Once gently used items are dropped in the ReThreads bin, participants will be given a token and can place their vote for a donation to one of the participating non-profit organizations outlined below:
• American Hiking Society- As the national voice for hikers, the American Hiking Society recognizes that foot trails and hiking are essential to connecting people with nature, conserving open space, providing biological corridors for diverse plants and wildlife, and for the health of Americans and the natural environment.
• National Park Foundation- Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation is rooted in a legacy that began more than a century ago when private citizens from all walks of life took action to establish and protect our national parks. Today, the National Park Foundation carries on that tradition as the only national charitable nonprofit whose mission is to directly support the National Park Service.
• The Children & Nature Network- Nature has the power to make children happier, healthier and smarter. The Children & Nature Network is leading a global movement to increase equitable access to nature so that children and natural places can thrive.
Garments and footwear that are dropped in ReThreads bins in each Columbia store, will be sent to a textile processing facility through I: CO, a textile recycling solutions company. The products are then sorted, reprocessed, reused and recycled. Products that are wearable find new homes through the second-hand market. Products that cannot be worn get another life in applications such as toys, artwork and cleaning cloths. Products that cannot be reused are recycled into secondary raw materials for items such as running tracks, insulation, carpet padding, stuffing for toys and even fiber for new clothing.
We are excited to be partnering with I:CO, to take the collected products on their journey to their next life. I:CO is an innovative textile recycling solutions company whose aim is to keep used clothing and shoes in an everlasting life cycle where these items can be reprocessed, reused and recycled again and again.
Through the Rethreads Program, Columbia is joining the movement to significantly reduce the amount of apparel and footwear that ends up in landfills in order to help conserve our material resources, reduce our collective carbon footprint, and help renew the planet and our communities.