Clothing Recycler USAgain Makes Spring Cleaning Easy for Chicago

Spring Cleaning Easy

Clothing Recycler USAgain Makes Spring Cleaning Easy for Chicago

CHICAGO (May 11, 2015) – Chicagoans looking to make more room in their closets this spring by ridding themselves of old clothing and shoes should think about the recycling bin instead of the garbage can.

USAgain, (pronounced use-again) is helping to make spring cleaning easy this year by equipping local communities with a convenient, accessible and earth-friendly resource to recycle their unwanted clothing and shoes and give them a second life.

“With textile recycling becoming more common throughout Illinois, it’s never been easier to recycle your unwanted clothes and shoes, which ultimately saves landfill space and helps protect the environment,” said USAgain CEO Mattias Wallander. “More and more environmentally conscious consumers are looking beyond the trash cans because they now have a convenient, no-cost approach to ensuring their clothing gets recycled or re-used.”

In 2014, seven million pounds of clothing and shoes were diverted from landfills thanks to Chicago area residents. By diverting 6,994,983 pounds of textiles, USAgain and its patrons prevented 49 million pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere and saved more than 10 billion gallons of water and 39,971 cubic yards of landfill space.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency notes that 85 percent of all unwanted clothing, or 12 million tons, end up in the garbage and make their way to the landfills every year.

“We are making progress but – as a green-focused company – our mission is to further reduce the amount of clothing that winds up buried in the landfills by changing people’s mindset and behavior when it comes to disposing of their clothing,” Wallander said.

About USAgain
USAgain, a leader in the textile recycling industry since 1999, is a for-profit company that recycles and reuses clothing, shoes and other textiles. Its mission is to provide consumers with a convenient and eco-friendly option to rid themselves of excess clothing, which is diverted from landfills. USAgain maintains more than 12,500 collection bins in 19 states. For more information, visit www.usagain.com to learn more and locate a recycling container near you.

Making Prom Dreams Come True

prom goes green-slidder-2015

Is your closet full of dresses you no longer wear? Now there is a way to clean your closet, help the environment and give back to Chicagoland high school seniors by recycling your special occasion dresses.
These dresses will be made available at a dress boutique on April 18 and April 25. The boutique is located at Price School, 4351 S. Drexel Blvd., in Chicago.

Watch pre-event coverage on:
Fox 32 Chicago
WGN Radio

Watch post coverage on:
WBBM 780 Radio

Got an Old Prom Dress? Glass Slipper Project Collecting for Chicago Teens

prom goes green-slidder-2015

CHICAGO — A prom dress drive that will gather gently used formalwear for Chicago teens kicked off Saturday at Agassiz Elementary School in Lakeview.

Glass Slipper Project and USAgain are partnering for the annual Prom Goes Green event to help Chicago high school students find new or gently used prom dresses for their senior dances.

Since 1999, the Glass Slipper Project has been helping seniors and junior around Chicago find their dream dress for the big dance.

“Every year we are able to help more and more girls look their best on their special day as well as doing something beneficial for the environment,” said Dorian Carter, Founder of the Glass Slipper Project. “Everyone should have the chance to find the dress of their dreams and we are pleased to continue to be able to offer this opportunity at no cost.”

During dress boutique days on April 18 and April 25 at Price Elementary School, 4351 S. Drexel Blvd, high school senior and junior girls with valid student IDs can search for a dress to take home with them for the prom.

“Students have the opportunity to help the environment while finding prom dress that is cost effective,” said Mattias Wallander, CEO of West Chicago-based USAgain.

“We also want to thank those who have recycled their dresses as we couldn’t do this without you. This is a win-win for these students and the environment.”

Anyone interested in donating a dress can do so from until April 11th at at any USAgain Bin location.

Other dress drop off locations include:

Smitten Boutique, 1047 W. Madison St.,

Ald. Carrie Austin (34th), 507 W. 111th St.,

Ald. Anthony Beale (9th ), 34 East 112th Place,

Ald. George Cardenas (12th), 3476 S. Archer Ave.,

Ald. Michael Chandler (24th) 4200 Roosevelt Rd.,

Ald. Timothy Cullerton (38th), 5817 W. Irving Park Road.

National Textile Recycler Announces 2014 Diversion Rates

USAgain clothing collection bins continue to serve as a convenient recycling option across America

CHICAGO, IL (Jan. 20, 2015) — More than 54 million pounds of textiles were collected in USAgain recycling bins across the country in 2014. That’s 12,311 garbage trucks diverted from going to landfills!

The national textile recycler provides an outlet to give surplus clothing a second life through a network of thousands of recycling bins located nationwide. By diverting 54 million pounds of textiles, USAgain and its patrons prevented 378 million pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, saved more than 75.6 billion gallons of water, and 308,571 cubic yards of landfill space.

USAgain recycling programs are hosted in partnership with municipalities, local businesses, event based community drives and fundraisers for schools and non-profits. More than 12,500 collection bins in 19 states provide residents with a convenient option for discarding their unwanted clothing and shoes in an environmentally responsible manner.

“We want to reduce the negative impacts of clothes and shoes on our environment by increasing their reuse and recycling. The key is to make textile recycling a convenient part of everyday life,” said Mattias Wallander, CEO of USAgain. “Textile recycling programs are getting attention from municipalities with a goal to improve their overall waste diversion rates and we are working diligently to assist with their goal”.

Recent data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shows 5.7 percent of the municipal solid waste (MSW) is textiles. A staggering 12 million tons of clothing and shoes end up in the garbage and make their way to the landfills every year.

“We are making progress but our mission is to further reduce the amount of clothing that ends up in the landfills through education and outreach events in addition to our clothing recycling bins,” Wallander said. “Every bit counts and our goal is to gain more partnerships and increase the textile recycling rate to 75 percent.”

USAgain has been proactively working with the national trade association for the clothing recycling industry — the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association to create and promote a uniform and equitable regulation for the placement and servicing of clothing collection bins across local municipalities.

USAgain continued its commitment to the environment by planting more than 200,000 trees around the globe in 2014, most in partnership with Trees for the Future, an agroforestry organization. The trees will serve to sequester carbon emissions and repair damaged ecosystems, helping to make the planet a greener, more inhabitable place.For more information, or to find a local drop box, please visit:

For 2014 recycling information specific to USAgain’s divisions, visit www.usagain.com/press-releases.
Media Contact:

Rasham Grewal
Phone: 630-293-1239 ext 1001

About USAgain
USAgain – a leader in the textile recycling industry since 1999, USAgain is a for-profit company that recycles and reuses clothing, shoes and other textiles. Its mission is to provide consumers with a convenient and eco-friendly option to rid themselves of excess clothing, which is diverted from landfills. USAgain maintains more than 14,000 collection bins in 19 states. For more information, visit www.usagain.com.

New Illinois law makes recycling more convenient

Read the original story on State Journal-Register

As textile collection bins become more common throughout Illinois, it’s never been easier to recycle unwanted clothes and shoes.

That’s good news if for environmentally conscious consumers looking beyond the trash can for a convenient, no-cost approach to getting rid of an out-of-style shirt or those too-skinny jeans.

But the recent expansion of textile recycling has not been without issues. Some unscrupulous clothing collectors fail to properly maintain their bins, which leads to overflow and blight, while some others stand accused of falsely giving to charities.

The unfortunate truth is that not all collection bin companies operate under the same ethical and aesthetical standards, and regulations vary widely among communities. As a result, some municipalities have gone to the extreme by banning collection bins outright.

But the state of Illinois got it right by passing a new law that took effect Thursday that calls for the clear labeling of bins that the public uses to donate, resell or recycle unwanted clothes, shoes, books and other items.

According to the legislation, all bins in Illinois must clearly display the name, address and telephone number of the operating entity, which also must declare itself a for-profit or a not-for-profit organization or business.

In addition, the legislation enables local state’s attorneys to prosecute bad-apple operators across multiple municipal boundaries, eliminating the need for each and every community to enforce the law.

USAgain and the national trade association for the clothing recycling industry — the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association — support the new law, which had widespread bipartisan support and was signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn during the fall.

With Americans throwing 85 percent of their old and unwanted clothing in the trash, amounting to 11 million tons a year, clothing bins play an increasingly important role in keeping unwanted textiles out of landfills.

These are hardly burdensome guidelines. Still, the task of responsible collection and maintenance falls to the bin operators themselves, who now will have to comply with the new standards to ensure each community’s quality of life.

— Mattias Wallander is CEO of West Chicago-based USAgain, a for-profit company that collects unwanted textiles and resells them in the United States and abroad.

Local Clothing Recycler Built Mountain of Clothing for America Recycles Day

chi-ugc-ugc-relatedphoto-local-clothing-recycler-built-mountain-of-clo-2014-11-17USAgain (pronounced use-again), the West Chicago-based textile recycling company, built a “mountain” of clothing – the equivalent of one full garbage truck or 10,000 pounds of clothing -to demonstrate the impact of clothing that gets discarded in the trash and the need to conserve landfill space. The clothing display was located on the plaza of the James R. Thompson Center, 150 W. Randolph St, in Chicago.

“This “mountain” of clothing illustrates just how much space discarded clothing and shoes take up when we throw them into the trash and it eventually ends up in landfills,” said USAgain CEO Mattias Wallander. “Unfortunately, 12 million tons of textiles get buried in landfills each year.”

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, Americans throw away 85 percent of all of their unwanted clothing and shoes into the trash. While the recycling household items, like paper, bottles and cans, has become second nature to many Americans, many still don’t realize that clothing can be recycled too.

USAgain’s mission is to reduce the negative impacts of clothes and shoes on our environment by increasing their reuse and recycling. USAgain gives a new life to discarded clothing by putting them back in the use stream as second hand clothing. Clothes that are not in condition to be re-worn are shredded to make new material like insulation for homes and car industry or to reclaim fiber to make new fabric.

Celebrating its 15th anniversary, USAgain operates more than 14,000 collection bins in 19 states. In 2013 alone, USAgain collected 55 million pounds of clothing, shoes and other textiles that were recycled or re-used.

“In 15 years, USAgain has diverted over six hundred million items of clothing, shoes and textiles from our nation’s landfills, which helps reduce waste, save energy and conserves resources, like water that ultimately protects our planet.”” said Mattias Wallander, CEO of USAgain. “More and more people are becoming aware of clothing recycling and doing their part as it has become easier and more convenient to recycle. There is always more we can do and America Recycles Day is a great time to start and consider what they can do to make the world a better place.”

America Recycles Day is a nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. Thousands of organizations across the country will hold recycling events to promote recycling. Since its inception in 1997, communities across the country have participated in America Recycles Day to educate, promote environmental citizenship and encourage action.

USAgain also has challenged local schools as part of America Recycles Day. USAgain is hosting a Textile Recycling School Challenge where participating schools compete to collect the most textiles for recycling. The top five collecting schools will win cash prizes and all schools will raise funds for every pound collected.


Listen to USAgain, CEO Mattias Wallander on WGN Radio Spot!

Hanover Township receives Green-T Award for Innovative Community Recycling Program | Trib local

Hanover Township

Hanover community recognized by USAgain, a local textile recycling company

Read the original story on Trib Local

USAgain, the textile recycling company based in West Chicago, IL, has announced the winners of its annual Green-T Awards. Hanover Township, recipient of the award for Innovative Community Recycling Program, was one of the 15 award winners.

The Green-T awards are to recognize and reward individuals or organizations that support recycling and sustainability in Illinois. The awards were presented Oct. 7 at the Green-T Awards ceremony where P. Craig Ochoa, Township Highway Commissioner, accepted the award on behalf of the township.

The township has welcomed clothes and shoes recycling into the community by adding these items in their annual Recycling Extravaganza and collected 1,815 pounds of textiles for recycling. The Recycling Extravaganza celebrates its fifth year of success as comprehensive recycling drive for the community. The township also offers multiple recycling centers.

“We are honored and humbled by USAgain’s choice to recognize the Township,” said Ochoa. “Our recycling event continues to grow in popularity and we are glad to see so many of our residents using the Township as a resource to dispose of many of their items through our environmentally friendly vendors.”

By recycling 1,815 pounds of textiles, the team saved more than 12,600 pounds of CO¬2 from entering the atmosphere; they also saved more than 2.4 million gallons of water through their commitment to recycling. The Hanover Township serves as a role model for communities in Illinois and across the country.

“We love working with communities to spread the message about textile recycling,” CEO of USAgain Mattias Wallander said. “The Hanover Township collected an incredible amount of textiles in just one day. We congratulate them on this feat and hope they continue to recycle in the future.”

Other recipients of USAgain’s Green-T Awards include Agassiz Elementary, Hanover Township, Chicago Sky and Environmental Defenders of McHenry County. For a full list of award recipients, visithttp://www.usagaingreentawards.com/winners.

Featured Employee Profile
Doug McCreight


Doug is Chicago’s Division Manager, responsible for managing operations in Chicagoland, Northern Indiana, Southwest Michigan and Eastern Iowa.

Doug studied Sports Management at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse in addition to earning his MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management. He likes to spend free time playing golf, poker and coaching softball, and appreciates working at a company concerned with protecting the planet for his children to enjoy.

Textile Recycling: What Happens to the Non-Reusable Stuff?

recycling blog imgWhen recycled clothing gets a second life that can mean a lot of things. Most clothing collected by USAgain and other textile recyclers is reused in its original form as secondhand clothing, but what about the stuff that’s too worn our to be re-worn?

Clothing resale outlets typically don’t sell clothing that’s deemed to be defective, but to recycling companies, such items are still perfectly OK. When you recycle the stained, old t-shirt you used to wear for gardening or working on the car, there’s a good chance it’ll be turned into a cleaning rag, mop or similar product. Ironically enough, clothing too dirty to be re-worn is ideally suited to be turned into cleaning materials.

Cloths and rags

Companies like Coastal Wipers sell a considerable selection of wiping cloths and shop towels made from various recycled clothing items. Buying recycled towels is a smart alternative to buying new ones, and industries (notably the oil industry, ironically) have been using recycled shop towels for quite a while. There’s really no need to use precious cotton, water and other resources to produce cloths that could be made from recycled items. In fact, about 17 gallons of water is used to produce a new shop towel—17 more than to create a recycled one.

Design items for the home

Many recycled textiles are made into wiping rags and other cleaning products, but contrary to what you might think, textiles are recycled into products for other uses.

Jinja, a Portuguese company that sells products made from recycled textiles, offers some of the most aesthetically appealing items made from recycled textiles.  A few of their recycled items include this Jackson Pollock-inspired placemat and wine bottle coolers prove that textiles can be recycled into more than cloths and rags—they can be made into interior design pieces with a bit of flair.


Have a ripped-up pair of jeans lying around? By recycling them, your jeans may very well be broken down and turned into insulation. Cotton Blue To Green, a non-profit insulation manufacturer, gives recycled denim a new life by turning it into UltraTouch insulation, manufactured by Bonded Logic. This denim insulation is safe to use and works exactly like normal insulation, and of course, no new resources are needed to create it, just old, unwearable jeans.

According to EPA data, all textiles are recyclable but only 15% actually are. These mistakenly trashed items often include the ripped, stained and damage items that are no longer suitable for regular ware. While it may be fair to say a ripped article of clothing is no longer fit for reuse, it’s patently false to say it’s useless—it’s a perfect fit to be recycled into something new.

We’d be remiss if we failed to mention the economic gains made possible by the recycling of textiles. Recycling clothing also creates ten times more jobs than waste removal and landfilling. Recycling textiles creates jobs, conserves resources and keeps harmful waste from entering landfills. Next time you find yourself with an unwearable t-shirt, we trust you’ll know what to do with it.

The Shoe Waste Epidemic

man and pile

A staggering 300 million pairs of shoes are thrown away and sent to landfills each year, and despite this massive amount of waste, it can all be avoided. Every pair of old shoes, no matter how worn-out or beat-up, can be reused or recycled and avoid being landfilled.

Read more about shoe recycling on our blog.