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As a part of our New Future outreach program, Volcom is proud to announce the launch of our partnership with the I:CO Recycling program.
It’s an initiative where you can now bring in any unwanted apparel items and/or shoes to most any US Volcom retail store for recycling and get a 10% discount to shop for new gear.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, up to 5% of our landfill is made up of textiles and shoes, and that’s just unacceptable considering that much of that is still ready for a second life or can be recycled into something else.
To learn more about the program and how it would work, Derek Sabori took a few field trips to Los Angeles and then to Fresno to see the sorting and recycling first hand. What a trip! In this segment, we visit the sorting and grading facility in Vernon, CA.
Vernon is a pretty interesting place, in fact Sabori learned is that this is a city dedicated to commerce. The population there, literally, is at about 100 – apparently it’s the smallest population of any incorporated city in California.
That, however, is just an interesting tidbit and not the topic of this post; so on to what Sabori saw: clothes. Lots and lots of clothes; piled to the ceiling, baled and wrapped, truckloads of … clothes. That’s what he saw.
So Many Clothes ...
His hosts for the day were Jennifer Gilbert of I:CO, and Roubik Aftandilians of the SOEX Group – both gracious and just as excited about keeping usable goods and valuable resources out of the landfill as Sabori is!
He toured the facility and went from entrance, to exit. It ends up, there’s a sort of anatomy to the whole process … the goods all come in at one end, and well – you get the picture. The goods that we're referring to are products that have been in the Goodwill and Salvation Army system and have run their course. They’re apparently unwanted and are looking for a next home.
As these large bales of everything from underwear to jackets to backpacks come in, they are sorted, and graded. Everything that deserves an additional life is re-packed and shipped off to fulfill orders that come in from countries and markets that are looking for goods like this.
Items that don’t meet the grade, go into the recycle bin – literally, getting turned into everything from carpet padding to automotive industry fillers. SOEX has a zero-waste policy and according to their website, they are able to recycle more than 98% of the 300,000,000 pounds of clothing that pass through its doors. That’s a lot of recycling. …
Here, both Roubick and Jennifer tell the story of what I:CO and SOEX do:
Seeing all this first hand, and realizing that shipments like the ones Sabori saw are coming in daily, put things into perspective.
We, as a country, as a human race, are burning through a lot of STUFF. Our aim is to get people thinking about where it all comes from, where it all goes. … It’s a BIG story.
If you’ve got extra STUFF lying around, and want to be sure it’s properly dealt with, consider bringing in any unused and/or unwanted apparel and/or shoes into your local (US Only) Volcom retail store and you’ll get a discount for your same day shopping.
It’s a win-win! The pilot program lasts until the end of August so get out there and check it out!