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Columbia’s clothing recycling scheme goes nationwide

US sportswear brand Columbia has announced it will roll out its ReThreads programme, which helps people recycle used clothing and footwear, to more than 100 stores across the US. 

“The issue of clothing ending up in landfills is a significant problem, and we want do our part to help conserve our material resources and reduce our collective carbon footprint,” explained Scott Welch, global corporate relations manager for Columbia. 

He said the decision to roll it out nationally comes after a successful pilot programme in 2016.

The full programme will launch on August 9. For the first month, Columbia will make a donation to a non-profit organisation for every pound of clothing that is recycled and kept out of landfills. 

After the garments are dropped off at its stores, Columbia will send them to a processing facility operated by textile recycling solutions company I:CO. 

Items that are suitable for reuse will be sold as second-hand goods through I:CO channels. Those that are unwearable will be reused as cleaning cloths or recycled into fibres for products like insulation or new fabrics. 

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