CMO Commentary: That Fake Clothing-Donation Bin Might Not Be What You Think
I’m the CMO for American Textile Recycling Service (ATRS) and recently read an article by Refinery29 about Fake Recycling Bins. Kudos to Refinery29 (one of my fave fashionista go-to resources) for tackling this complex topic and generating great feedback in the comments feed.
The badly stenciled bootleg bins featured in the article violate our company’s tagline “Your Neighborhood Recycler” and are an unfortunate example of the “bad actors” in our industry – a much-needed private sector industry that provides easy, convenient and FREE recycling solutions in neighborhoods across the nation.
ATRS is an exemplary leader in this industry, donating approximately five million dollars to charities since our inception and diverting nearly 200 million tons of unwanted clothes from our landfills. These are clothes that would otherwise be thrown away simply because most of us don’t realize textiles are one of our most valuable renewable resources.
Next time you’re cleaning out your closets, look for a SMART Association member recycler and be sure your unwanted items go where they can do the most good. A thrift store isn’t a recycler. These organizations have an entirely different business model and may simply throw away the items they can’t sell. A textile recycler like ATRS ensures everything is reused, reworn and recycled. Every garment is graded and sorted, from perfectly wearable items to those with rips, stains and tears, to those that become wiping rags, insulation, upholstery stuffing, thread and much more. Bonefide textile recyclers boast a ridiculously low waste stream and supply a rapidly-growing global network for industries that have great use for these post-consumer materials.
Our neighborhoods need more recycling solutions, not fewer. Keep supporting the “good actor” organizations in your communities for a greener tomorrow. And if you found this blog informative, please follow our social media to learn more, come meet us at a future event and post your questions here. I will answer them all.