The New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) and New York City Economic Development Corporation have teamed up with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation for the #WearNext campaign, an initiative to support circular fashion and keep clothes out of landfills.
Through the British charity’s Make Fashion Circular initiative, the city organizations will partner with collectors, recyclers and resale companies to tackle waste and pollution in the apparel industry throughout the East Coast fashion capital.
From March 4 through June 9, over 1,100 participating stores and other locations across the city will act as drop off points for unwanted clothes, with every available location marked on an online map created by the DSNY.
Participating brands include Asos, Athleta, Gap, H&M, Reformation and Zara, as well as secondhand companies including Bank and Vogue, Hallotex, I:CO, Lenzing and ThredUp.
According to a press statement, New York City’s landfills collect 200 million pounds of clothing each year. Additionally, the foundation reports that 73% of the materials used to produce clothing globally are landfilled or burned at the end of their life, while less than 1% of old clothing goes on to be re-used for new clothing.
Make Fashion Circular was launched by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in May of 2018, and works to lead international efforts to establish ethical and circular business models within the fashion economy.
“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?” said Make Fashion Circular lead Francois Souchet.
“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 recognize 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 where clothes are made from safe and renewable materials, new business models increase their use, and used clothes are turned into new ones.”
Users can find their nearest drop-off spot at nyc.gov/textiles, while updates on the campaign can be found using the #WearNext hashtag.