I:CO has created a global take-back system for collecting used apparel, footwear and other garments for reuse and recycling.
Through its simple consumer and business take-back system, along with its worldwide infrastructure, I:CO aims to keep the materials used in clothing and shoes in a continuous closed-loop product cycle. As a result, I:CO increases the lifespan of processed materials and encourages manufacturers to be mindful of resource use in their designs.
Through cooperation with large retail partners, used shoes and clothing are collected in stores and other retail outlets. As an incentive to participate, customers are financially rewarded for depositing their used items. The collected clothes, shoes and textiles are sorted according to more than 350 criteria for further processing or recycling. Used clothes can be labeled as suitable for second-hand sale, recycled into fibers and paddings, or upcycled into products of equal or higher quality.
Why you should care
Used textiles and footwear are made from valuable natural or oil-based resources such as cotton, leather and polyester. Currently however, after a product’s first or second life cycle, these resources are discarded in landfill. An alternative way to effectively handle used textiles and footwear is to re-process them as raw materials for creating new products. To meet this challenge, the I:CO system closes the recycling loop, providing the basis for a profitable ‘circular economy’.