New York Textiles Summit to Focus on Material Reuse and Recycling

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American Textile Recycling Service

The New York Product Stewardship Council, Re-Clothe NY Coalition, New York State Pollution Prevention Institute and Product Stewardship Institute will host the “2017 New York Textiles Summit: Advancing a Circular Economy,” at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology on Oct. 31.

The summit will discuss how the state and the country can boost textiles reuse and recycling.

Conference panels will include speakers from FIT and the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator explaining how companies can design clothing to be more sustainable, reusable and recoverable. Executives from Patagonia, Eileen Fisher and Goodwill Industries will discuss how retailers can effectively and conveniently take back used clothing at retail stores.

Focusing on “The Circular Economy and Innovative Recycling Technologies,” executives from I:CO and Evrnu will highlight how retailers can lead circular economy efforts in textiles manufacturing by incorporating recycled content, while representatives from Tidewater Textiles Recycling and RecycleThat will illustrate how to grow domestic and international markets for post-consumer textiles.

“We started this initiative in 2014 because 85 percent of used clothing and other textiles like sheets, towels and curtains end up in the trash, and over 1 billion pounds of textiles are trashed each year in New York State,” said Dan Lilkas-Rain, chair of the Re-Clothe NY Campaign for the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling. “Consumers need convenient locations to take their unwanted textiles, including the retail stores they already visit, along with education about textile reuse and recycling options.”

For example, worn, torn, ripped or stained textiles can be recovered as long as they are clean, dry and odorless, but many people are unaware of this.

[Read more about textile recycling issues: WTO Members Grill China Over Waste Import Ban Impacting Textile Recycling]

“Each year, New York State residents throw out over $130 million worth of recoverable fabric. If that material were collected instead, we could recover that market value and create over 1,000 jobs statewide,” said Andrew Radin, NYPSC chair and recycling director for Onondaga County, New York, Resource Recovery Agency. “Manufacturers are well-positioned to run an efficient take-back system that incorporates recovered material into new products.”

Chuck Ruffing, director of the NYSP2I, added: “One of NYSP2I’s goals is to help businesses optimize for cost-effective and innovative manufacturing that reduces environmental impact. All those involved in the textiles supply chain–from product designers to manufacturers to retailers–need a seat at the table to develop next steps in a way that is consistent with the needs of government and industry.”

ReClothe NY is comprised of textiles recyclers, local governments, non-profit reuse organizations and others working together to increase the amount of textiles recovered for reuse and recycling in New York State. PSI is a national, membership-based nonprofit committed to reducing the health, safety, and environmental impacts of consumer products across their lifecycle with a strong focus on sustainable end-of-life management.

The NYPSC works to implement the principles of product stewardship in New York State and nationally by providing leadership, guidance and resources to individuals, organizations, institutions, local governments, the state legislature, elected officials and manufacturers.

The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute is led by the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at Rochester Institute of Technology and is a partnership between RIT, Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the State University of New York at Buffalo and the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

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