There are two things an NYC resident can do with their unwanted clothes: put it in a garbage bag and drag it through the subways and streets of New York City to the nearest Goodwill, or just relieve themselves of the back-breaking task by chucking them into the garbage can. Unfortunately, most of us opt for the latter. There was never an easy alternative to conserve the constant cycle of fashion and trends for the big city — until now.
The Associated Press reported Friday on a solution — no, near miracle to our landfill-clogging vice. Starting in September, New York City will launch one of the largest textile recycling initiatives in the nation.
Non-profit companies like Goodwill Industries International are getting bids on a 10-to-15 year contract to supply clothing “recycling bins” throughout the city under one mission: making the practice of donating clothes as easy as throwing it away.
Under a Goodwill-conducted survey of 600 adults in the United States and Canada, more than half of the people who donated clothing admit that they wouldn’t go 10 minutes out of their way to do so. This means that the planned initiative could drastically curve disposing behavior and save the populous city’s landfill from 190,000 tons of wasted textiles. The recycling plan will place 50 collection bins in high-traffic areas of the city.
Articles with reselling potential will be making their way to Goodwill stores, while the more tattered pieces will be used as rags for businesses or insulation purposes. With only a predicted 5% of the donated clothes making their way to the landfill, we must admit, this is a great first step in making fashion a greener industry.
While this helps New Yorkers become more ethical consumers, we can’t help but wonder if businesses will take the same initiative. Ahem, we’re talking to you, H&M, Wal-Mart and Kmart. Instead of slashing clothes for the benefit of no one, why not suck up the pride and make a business of textile recycling? If this takes off as a widespread phenomenon outside of New York, these businesses would be a laughing stock of shame.