Rethinking reuse: Savers launches State of Reuse Report on clothing
Savers, a global purpose-driven thrift retailer, launched a new report examining perceptions of clothing consumption and reuse and identifying educational opportunities to change wasteful habits. With more clothing and textiles heading to the landfill than ever before, Savers wanted to better understand what is driving those behaviours and what would motivate people to change their behaviours
“As an organization committed to reuse, Savers felt compelled to identify barriers and clarify misconceptions around donating clothing and purchasing pre-owned goods,” said Ken Alterman, President and CEO of Savers. “The insights garnered from the Savers State of Reuse Report point to the growing opportunity for the public and private sectors to work together to educate people about reducing clothing’s environmental footprint and drive the adoption of reuse.”
Savers commissioned the State of Reuse Report after learning that the average U.S. citizen will throw away 81 pounds of clothing this year alone – 95 % of which can be reused or recycled. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, reusing goods keeps them at their highest utility, thus reducing the need for additional resources to process new products.
Key Findings from the State of Reuse Report:
– People vastly underestimate the amount of clothing and textiles they throw away each year.
– People report throwing away an average of 4.7 trash bags worth, while the actual amount disposed is nearly double, 8.1 trash bags worth.
– Misconceptions around what donation centres do and do not take.
– Fifty-four percent of respondents admit to throwing away their clothing and textiles because they don’t think any donation centre would take them.
– People strongly desire to learn about reuse and its positive economic and environmental impacts.
– More than half of North Americans say they are more likely to reuse after learning about the clothing industry’s environmental impact.
– More than 90 % of North Americans believe the concepts behind reuse should be taught in schools to increase sustainable habits in future generations.
Savers is a for-profit privately held global thrift retailer offering clothing and accessories for men, women and children and household goods. Through its unique business model of purchasing, reselling and recycling second hand merchandise, the Savers family of thrift stores (including Value Village, Unique Thrift and Village des Valeurs brands) benefits more than 120 non-profit organizations, gives local consumers a smart way to shop and saves 650 million pounds of quality used goods from landfills each year. Savers pays its non-profit partners for donated goods, turning otherwise unused items into sustainable funding that supports their missions. Savers operates nearly 330 locations with 22000 employees in the United States, Canada and Australia.