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Collaborative project helps used clothing stay off landfills
Jan '17
A new collaborative project between three organisations has helped a new startup, The Renewal Workshop to transform returned clothing into resellable items, a process that not only benefits the planet and employs people, but also helps manufacturers meet sustainability goals. The total cost of the $22,500 project was shared by the three partners.

The Renewal Workshop, Oregon BEST and the Oregon Manufacturers Extension Partnership (OMEP) set up a 7,500 sq. feet lean manufacturing facility to transform returned clothing into resellable items.

The Renewal Workshop renews outdoor garments like raincoats and jackets, as well casual shirts, pants and dresses, which is received in bulk from the company's brand partners.

Workers then inspect, grade, repair, clean using a waterless system, co-label the clothing and ship with minimal packaging. The product is then resold online at 30 per cent off the manufacturer's suggested retail price, with each piece being certified to the quality standards of the original brand.

The company partners with apparel companies committed to sustainability like Prana, Ibex, Toad&Co, Mountain Khakis, and Indigenous.

According to The Renewal Workshop, even if a zipper or snap doesn't function, a seam is blown out or a button's missing, the garment often winds up as part of the 14 million tons of apparel Americans throw out yearly.

The company quoted the EPA as estimating that keeping this clothing out of landfills would be the equivalent of taking 7.5 million cars and in turn their carbon emissions off the road. (AR)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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