Target Aims at Waste with Denim Recycling Program

March 30, 2018

target store exterior

Now you won’t have to feel bad about tossing your old jeans. Target has partnered with a company called I:Collect to take your old denim off your hands. I:Collect is German-baseded company that operates in over 60 countries specializes in collecting, recycling and reusing clothing, shoes, and textiles.

Target ran the test program with I:Collect this month, where the retailer in selected stores in the Northwest could trade in their old denim clothing for a 10% off coupon for new jeans.

The denim will be sorted and designated for reuse or recycle, in which they will get a new life as second-hand goods, or recycled, in which they will be turned into products for other industries.

I:Collect expected the trial to keep 50,000 pounds of denim out of landfills.

According to data cited by Retail Dive by the Council for Textile Recycling, the United States generates about 25 billion pounds of textile waste per year — 82 pounds per resident. Of that 82 pounds, only 15% gets donated or recycled, meaning that 85%, or 21 billion pounds, goes into landfills. That’s more than 5.2% of all municipal solid waste generated in the U.S. The group predicts the total to reach 35.4 billion pounds next year.

Other companies are stepping up their sustainability game:

  • Levi’s also works with I:Collect and will recycle clothing and shoes from any brand. Consumers receive a 20%-off voucher.
  • H&M has a garment-collecting initiative that provides a coupon toward a purchase in return for unwanted garments of any brand.
  • Madewell’s Denim Donation Program donates old jeans to Habitat for Humanity for housing insulation while giving returners $20 off a jeans purchase.
  • North Face customers can get a $10 coupon toward a $100 purchase for their unwanted clothing and footwear.

These moves are not only good for the planet, but they’re also good for business, as consumers become more attuned to the waste and sustainability of the products they buy.


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