You don’t have to leap over tall buildings in a single bound to be a superhero. Actress Olivia Wilde, in her crime-fighting guise of Princess Layers, has teamed up with H&M and DoSomething.org to urge America’s youth to help save the planet by recycling their old clothes. From now through June 20, teens and college students are encouraged to comb their schools and communities for castoff garments—all brands and all conditions are welcome—to drop off in garment-recycling bins at any H&M store. H&M will bundle off these clothes to a recycling facility, where the fibers will be recovered for export or reprocessing.
“Clothing Comeback” participants who send a photo of themselves depositing their unwanted clothing to DoSomething.org will be entered to win a $10,000 scholarship, on top of receiving a 15 percent discount off their next H&M purchase.
More than 85 percent of readily recyclable textiles land up in landfills every year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. That’s 1.1 million tons, or the equivalent of over 70 billion T-shirts.
“Everyone has a T-shirt with a coffee stain that sits in the back of her closet,” says Nancy Lublin, CEO and “chief oOld person” at DoSomething.org. “Comeback Clothes is awesome because it’s an easy way for young people to help the planet and repurpose all of those single socks.”
As the founder of Conscious Commerce, an “experiment in living (and shopping) with a conscience,” Wilde knows a little something about following your conscience. “I’m excited to work with DoSomething.org and H&M to encourage our generation to recycle old clothing with Comeback Clothes,” she says. “Their message is very much in line with the philosophy behind my company, Conscious Commerce, which encourages young people to live an overall more conscious lifestyle and leave our world in a better state than how we found it. Recycling old clothes is a wonderful and deliberate choice that positively affects our world, and I’m proud to help that cause!”