Originally published: April 17, 2014 11:44 AM
Updated: April 22, 2014 9:08 AM
By JOSEPH V. AMODIO Special to Newsday
Link to Newsday article
Adam Baruchowitz is founder and CEO of Wearable Collections and Walkable Collections. The company takes old clothes and sneakers and recycles them. (Credit: Bruce Gilbert)
Amber Valletta is feeling mighty green lately. She’s the face of two eco-friendly collections released by H&M earlier this month: Conscious (a limited-edition line made from organic cotton, hemp and recycled materials), and Conscious Exclusive (its more upscale, sustainable sister).
“Reuse . . . repurpose clothing,” she says in an H&M online video on how to make clothes last. Nice thought, Amber.
So what’s a consumer who wants to be greener to do?
Eileen Fisher fans who have any of that brand’s gently used clothes can return them to any EF store this month (including East Hampton) in exchange for credit on a rewards card ($5 per item). The clothes are then sold at Green Eileen second-hand shops, with proceeds funding empowerment programs for women and girls.
Adam Baruchowitz does Fisher one better.
The Stony Brook native heads Wearable Collections, a Brooklyn-based firm that collects used clothing (any brand, wearable or not) in New York City and surrounding areas, making weekly pickups at more than 200 apartment buildings and 26 greenmarkets. Last year, he hauled away more than 2 million pounds of clothes, which would have otherwise clogged landfills. Instead, wearable items were sent to second-hand shops, the rest recycled into rags or ground up into insulation material.
Now he’s launching Walkable Collections, a division devoted to reusable footwear. At the website — walkablecollections.com — consumers can learn how to donate old shoes (he’ll provide UPS labels) or spearhead shoe drives (he provides bins, signage, pickups, and sends the shoes to impoverished regions around the globe).
“I was blown away by the huge ‘waste’ of reusable resources in our wastestream,” he says.
That’s just a start. We’ve gathered info on other green choices you can make on Earth Day — or any day of the year.
“Today it’s possible to be fashionable and responsible,” says Valletta. “And that’s the way it should be.”
If any of you are feeling the way we are, you still aren’t quite over the hand that this winter dealt us. But this is not a time to be bitter- it’s Earth Month 2014. This is a time to be optimistic and thankful. The spring is upon us and with that a reminder of all the goodness that mother nature provides. Wearable Collections is shaking of the last flakes of snow and is focused on making this our most fruitful Earth Month ever, creating campaigns of all shapes and sizes for our community to participate.
This year we have added a little twist with a focus on sneakers and shoes, in order to illustrate the problem of shoe waste and also propose a solution. We have developed some new partnerships that allow us to expand our reach outside the NYC metro area. Wearable Collections continues to increase our footprint to help you reduce yours.
To find out how to get your community involved, please click here.
In our nearly decade of collecting used clothes, the one thing we can count on is the onslaught of clothing left on college campuses at the end of the year. We get it, we were university students that long time ago. The schools year’s over and summer is upon you, what do you need clothes for?
Well, for those of you burdened with the tremendous volume of clothing left on campus, please let Wearable Collections be your solution for dorm clean outs. We will provide you with a turn-key solution that will be sure to keep those clothing shoes and textiles out of landfills with the added benefit of raising funds for your university. We have a great deal of experience greening up college campuses. While we are focused on the Northeast corridor from Maine to D.C, there is really no limit to how far we go.
For all inquiries, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the form below of you’d like to put us in contact with your dorm manager.
We are extremely happy to build on last years’ highly productive drives at 3 Queens libraries. The drives are a collaboration of two terrific partners GrowNYC and Queens Library. All of the drives will be held Thursday April 3rd from 3:30 pm – 6:30pm.
Bring your gently used clothing, shoes and textiles to these participating libraries:
21-45 31st Street
Astoria, NY 11105
LIC, NY 11103
54-22 Skillman Ave
Woodside, NY 11377
We love our friends in Staten Island and are proud to be hosting a clothing drive with the JCC for the fourth consecutive year. In the past we have been amazed by the amount of clothing, textiles and shoes we have been able to keep out of landfills with these events. As part of this event, Staten Island residents will also be able to recycle their e-waste and there will even be trees given away. This is not an event to miss.
DATE: March 30, 2014
TIME: 12pm- 2pm
Bernikiow Parking Lot
1466 Manor Rd
Staten Island, NY 10314