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SMART clothing recycling

June 1st, 2012 / By: / Industry News, Sustainability

Florida State University wins 2012 oneSHIRT challenge.

Florida State University claims the title “Big Shirt on Campus” by winning the 2012 oneSHIRT Challenge presented by SustainU and sponsored by the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART). Florida State students recycled more than 3 tons (6,019 pounds) of clothing and textiles while competing in the oneSHIRT Challenge during Earth Week 2012. Results of the contest were announced May 3 by SustainU.

During this year’s nationwide oneSHIRT Challenge, more than 37,000 pounds of clothing and textiles were collected to be recycled. A total of 730 students from 48 colleges and universities in 26 states volunteered for this year’s competition. Students at schools participating in the oneSHIRT Challenge collected clothing to be recycled during Earth Week. The volunteers partnered with local clothing recycling companies that then purchased the materials. All monies collected were donated to charities in the community of each institution. In some cases, the recycled materials were given directly to local chapters of charities such as Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and St. Vincent de Paul. This is the second year of the oneSHIRT Challenge; in 2011, more than 16 tons of clothing was collected and recycled.

“People don’t realize that 95 percent of all clothing and textiles can be recycled or processed by our member companies,“ says Jackie King, executive director of SMART. “Our goal is to get people to think of clothing recycling as they already do paper, plastic, and aluminum recycling. Introducing the students to clothing recycling via the oneSHIRT Challenge is a win-win-win for SMART, SustainU, and the environment.”

As the “Big Shirt on Campus” winner of the 2012 Challenge, Florida State University receives 24 four-day passes, along with premium camping space, at the 2012 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival to be held June 7–10 in Manchester, Tenn. Bonnaroo is also a sponsor of the oneShirt Challenge, with MobileU, an Earth Day Network initiative.

In addition, the school collecting the most pounds per student enrolled will receive 50 SustainU shirts for their group or club. Other top schools in the oneSHIRT Challenge include: West Virginia University (4,846 pounds), Oklahoma Panhandle State University (3,113 pounds), Creighton University (2,682 pounds), Bryant University (1,789 pounds), Northeastern University (1,719 pounds) and SUNY–Empire State (1,458 pounds).

“More than 18-and-a-half tons of clothing has not only been kept out of landfills, but has also gone to support local charities and job training programs in the communities where the clothing was collected. I am so proud of the schools and the oneSHIRT team for creating a climate for clothing recycling where everyone can benefit,” says Tiffany Newcomb, director of corporate responsibility for SustainU.

SMART, SustainU

Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles (SMART) is an international nonprofit trade association that strengthens the economic opportunities of its diverse membership by promoting the interdependence of our industry segments and providing a common forum for networking, education and trade. Since 1932, SMART has been at the forefront of recycling. SMART members use and convert recycled and secondary materials from used clothing, commercial laundries and nonwoven, off spec material, new mill ends and paper from around the world.

SustainU< produces high quality apparel using fabrics made from 100 percent recycled materials that are manufactured in the U.S. to provide extraordinary comfort and wear, while reducing environmental waste, carbon emissions and water use. The mission is to change the way clothes are made to improve the environment, reinvigorate America’s manufacturing sector, and educate the world about how clothing can positively impact people’s lives.

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