Clothes the Loop
Eventually, people grow out of clothes, wear through gear or simply decide it’s time for something new. Unfortunately, most of what we don’t want ends up in landfills where it has adverse effects on our planet’s natural resources.
There is a solution. Recycle it. Thanks to our Clothes The Loop program, you can easily drop off worn-out and unwanted clothing at participating The North Face stores. It doesn’t matter what condition it’s in or even what brand it is. What matters is that the apparel is either reused or recycled for use in a variety of ways.
Leave No Trace
We are taking responsibility for the many ways that our business leaves an imprint on the environment. On any expedition, carrying less waste off the mountain starts with bringing less on, using durable materials, and reusing and repurposing as much as possible. In keeping with this philosophy, we are committed to eliminating waste and inefficiencies in our operations, manufacturing, packaging, and day-to-day activities.
We have found that over time, relatively small actions can have a big impact over time. As our understanding of the opportunities for improvement grows, we are confident we can make a difference on multiple fronts, from our factories to our retail stores and offices.
Recycling plastic polybags
Our latest success in eliminating waste is our polybag recycling program. A common waste problem in the apparel industry comes from the polyethylene bags, called polybags, which protect products during shipment.
In 2008, we evaluated alternatives including eliminating the bags, substituting reusable bags and finding bags made from renewable materials. Unfortunately, none of these options met our strict quality control and product protection requirements. We decided the best immediate action to reduce waste was to find a recycling solution. In 2010, we identified a number of local programs to recycle these bags at a portion of our retail stores. We also found a local company to recycle the polybags from our headquarters, where we receive a high volume of packaged product samples.
In 2011, we created a partnership with Terracycle to recycle the polybags from all remaining and future retail stores. Terracycle is an innovative company dedicated to eliminating waste by creating recycling streams for hard-to-recycle waste. Twenty-four The North Face® locations in the United States are now sending their used polybags to TerraCycle. This material is being upcycled into various products such as plastic lumber, bike racks, and pavers. Our goal is to recycle one million polybags through retail stores in 2011.
Turning fabric waste into new products
Our Product Design and Development team devised a way to use excess material from our packs, jackets and tents by developing a creative, stylish and environmentally friendly solution in the form of a tote bag. We call it the Loop Tote.
Delighted consumers have purchased almost 30,000 totes – providing a practical use for more than 17,000 yards of waste material. For each bag sold, we donate one dollar to the Children & Nature Network, an organization built around reconnecting children with the outdoors.