Words by Smiley Team
Clothing waste has become a topic of debate in recent years, with many being criticized for their impact in perpetuating the fast fashion trend.
In the US alone, the amount of clothes that people throw out has doubled over the last 20 years, according to the EPA. Of the clothes that people toss, 84% end up in landfills or incinerators.
In an effort to combat the environmental impacts of clothing waste the clothing brand Guess has partnered with Homeboy Recycling to repair, recycle, and upcycle clothing.
Homeboy Recycling is 'the world's preeminent gang rehabilitation and re-entry program' according to their site, and for every 100,000 pounds of waste, they collect they create another job for a formerly incarcerated person.
They usually work in electronic waste, refurbishing and recycling used electronics, but the partnership with Guess is an expansion into other areas of work.
“For Homeboy Recycling, our focus is to develop businesses that create jobs and meaningful training opportunities in our community," said Chris Zwicke, CEO, Homeboy Recycling. "After careful research and a pilot program with GUESS, Homeboy Recycling is thrilled to announce this new line of business."
“We learned that this type of program is aligned with the skill set of our workforce and fills a significant need for industry. We look forward to continuing this partnership and working with the industry to address textile waste.”
As part of the program, people who bring in five or more clothing items from any brand, into a Guess, will receive a 15% discount on their next purchase.
The program is also an attempt for Guess to give back to their hometown of Los Angeles, where Homeboy Recycling is also based.
“Our partnership with Homeboy Recycling creates a pathway toward the development of more sustainable products. This initiative represents another strong step toward our VISION GUESS commitment to develop more circular business models," says Carlos Alberini, CEO, GUESS?, Inc.
DONATE ITEMS: You can find out about the collection events put on by Homeboy Recycling. Beyond their recycling goals, they also offer tech literacy classes for the formerly incarcerated to help them adapt to an electronic world.