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How to create a sustainable end-of-life program for your clothes

How to create a sustainable end-of-life program for your clothes

Our current way of “consuming” clothes is linear - we wear them until they’ve fulfilled their purpose, then either throw them away or drop a suitcase full of clothes at Goodwill (which has its own problems). This has taken a big toll on our planet. An estimated 11 million tons of textile waste made their way into landfills in 2018, up 170% since 2000. Depending on the type of fabric, articles of clothing can sit in landfills for centuries without breaking down.

Consumers are waking up to the negative impact of fashion on the environment, and are demanding more sustainable practices from their favorite brands. Even brands that are inherently sustainable, ones offering carbon offsetting practices and incorporating more sustainable fabrics, have a huge gap in solving for their clothing’s actual end-of-life.

With resale exploding over the past two years, many brands started implementing branded recommerce solutions. According to thredUP’s Resale Report, Resale-as-a-Service (RaaS) has grown 330% YOY, and it’s not slowing down. However, resale is only one piece of the puzzle that solves for extension of life, not when the item is exhausted beyond repair.

Well, this wasn’t good enough for tentree – a brand well-known for its bold sustainability mission to work towards a ZeroWaste Future. They wanted a circular solution that married the two paths of “reuse” and “recycle” when someone is done wearing their clothes. Thus, tentree’s first-of-its-kind partnership between resale platform Treet and recycler SuperCircle was born. Circularity by tentree offers customers a two-prong rehoming solution for worn tentree apparel.

The goal of the program is for tentree clothes to stay out of landfills and in circulation either as tentree products or as new, upcycled products. Customers request a free shipping label and send their clothing to SuperCircle, where they determine whether:

a) The product is qualified to be resold. If so, the product will be posted through tentree’s resale shop powered by Treet, which will feature a variety of discounted, pre-loved tentree products. b) The product is recycled. If the clothing has been on a few too many adventures to be resold, tentree’s recycling partner, SuperCircle, will ensure that products are broken down and recycled into new materials that can live a new life as another article of clothing, padding, or insulation.

Pretty cool, right? For a detailed Q&A and more info about this program, please visit Circularity by tentree site.

Are you a brand that’s interested in building out a similar resale and recycling take back program for your customers? Contact us here to get started.

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