Columbia Launches ReThreads Program

Columbia Launches ReThreads Program

Columbia Sportswear launched its ReThreads apparel and footwear recycling program Oct. 21 by offering coupons to customers who drop off their used clothing and shoes at its stores for recycling.

The Rethreads program extends the life of these items and reduces negative impact to the environment. Each time a customer brings in their unwanted clothing and shoes to a participating Columbia retail store, they receive a coupon for 10 percent off their next total purchase of $75 or more. Products collected are sent to an I:CO partner processing facility where they are designated for rewear, reuse or recycling depending on specific sorting criteria.

Products that still have a useful life are designated for rewear and are sold again as second hand garments. Products that cannot be worn get another life in applications such as toys, artwork and cleaning cloths.

Products that cannot be reused are recycled into secondary raw materials for products such as running tracks, insulation, carpet padding, stuffing for toys and fiber for new clothing.

Through this program, Columbia is seeking to join the movement towards eliminating clothing and shoes from landfills and giving them a new life. This effort supports Columbia’s commitment to taking a holistic, life-cycle approach to managing the environmental impacts of the products they make. Utilizing the I:CO take-back system infrastructure, Columbia makes clothing and shoes recycling a convenient and rewarding experience for customers and importantly, helps conserve our natural resources and build a healthier planet.

Based in Switzerland, I:CO provides brands environmentally conscious, confidential handling of retailer and manufacturer overstocks, overruns, surplus goods, liquidations, stocks & fabric rolls, production samples, returns as well as damaged goods.

The its “trade partner” program, it is attempting to integrate all collected textiles and shoes into the recycling process by 2020. In addition to Columbia, it already works with Mammut, Puma, The North Face and Volcom to collect used apparel and footwear through their their owned stores.