New York City Tackles Wasteful Fashion With #WearNext Campaign

This spring, New York City is tackling waste created by the fashion industry with its #WearNext campaign. Between March 4 and June 9, over 1,100 locations in NYC are accepting clothing, textiles, shoes and accessories for reuse and recycling.

To help people get rid of their clothing more easily, the NYC Department of Sanitation created an online map of the sites where New Yorkers can take unwanted clothing. Participating residents are encouraged to share their stories on social media using the #WearNext hashtag.

The goal of the #WearNext campaign is to reduce how many clothes New Yorkers toss, and motivate them to repair, donate, swap or resell their clothes instead. New York City alone dumps roughly 200 million pounds of clothing into landfills each year. That’s more than the weight of 440 Statues of Liberty.

Globally, only one percent of old clothing is used to make new clothing. An estimated $500 billion dollars worth of clothing is lost to landfills or incineration every year, even though it is barely worn. Additionally, washing synthetic clothing releases more than half a million tons of plastic microfibers into the ocean every year. In other words, the equivalent of more than 50 billion plastic bottles enters our water supply and food chain, just from washing our clothes.

We can all help the fashion industry move towards a more sustainable model. How? Avoid fast fashion and find ways to repair, donate, swap or resell your clothes. You can also consider buying clothing secondhand instead of new. Check out our options for mail-in donations as well as our local donation locations.