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              The Recycle Right Bag from For Days

              Behind the Brand

              Introducing The Recycle Right Bag

              Did you know that the average American throws away 81 pounds of clothing every year? And even if you donate your clothes, 85% of those eventually end up in landfills, too? So we are thrilled to partner with For Days on our first-ever clothing recycling program.

              Interview By
              Katie Covington

              With our new Recycle Right Bag from For Days, it's easy to say goodbye to your (or your minis!) old tees that no longer fit and use the prepaid shipping label to send the bag off to For Days for recycling. As a way of saying thank you, we will give you a $20 credit towards a future purchase on Maisonette. It's a win-win if you ask us. We sat down with For Days founders Kristy Caylor and Mary Saunders to learn more about how to clean our closets responsibly.

              Why is it so important to recycle responsibly? Why not just take things down to a local donation center?

              We are on a mission to fix a seriously broken system–85% of ALL textiles end up in landfills. That includes current resale, recycling, and donations efforts. But together, we can end fashion waste. We take back used clothing (from any brand, in any condition) and upcycle, recycle or resell it. As a result, 95% of everything sent to us stays out of landfills (the other 5% is sadly truly trash).

              What happens when someone sends in a Recycle Right Bag?

              When we started, we were thinking about fiber-to-fiber recycling, like if you have a cotton shirt, you can make a new t-shirt out of it. But Mary and I learned so much from our recycling team. They figure out how to use everything. It's shocking how textiles can be used–from the insulation that goes into cars, furniture, or buildings, and industrial rags. We work with the right people to ensure it gets to the best place. We've heard some heartwarming stories about where the product goes.

              Kids outgrow things constantly. How do you decide when to give clothes to a friend, donate, resell, or recycle?

              So first you're going to have to do some sorting work. If you have a friend, family, or group that you work with, definitely seek those out first.

              A small portion of the product can be efficiently sold and reused. If you have a few extraordinary things in excellent condition, you can make a pile for that too. If you're donating to a charity or mutual aid group, don't dump everything on them without sorting it. Organizations deal with so much clothing they can't do anything with because it's dirty or broken. If you wouldn't give it to a friend, don't donate it.

              As far as kids go, though, the clothes can be gross. At least, hopefully, they are gross because you've allowed your child to wear through them. That's when recycling makes sense.

              Before expanding into recycling, your company, For Days, began making organic, non-toxic, and 100% recyclable clothing. What was the inspiration behind building For Days?

              We've seen the industry from various angles, seeing how mass production works. We traveled to the Philippines, Vietnam, China to these massive warehouses of production people that were spinning out so much product at any cost. I felt like the industry wasn't taking responsibility for our impact on people on the planet. And simultaneously, customers are starting to care. And it was an exciting moment where you think, "People are going to care where their products are made and how they're made. And the status quo doesn't feel great."

              These huge companies were condescending to the customer, assuming they would not know the difference. But we thought, "We do, we think they do–or they're starting to," and I set off on an entrepreneurial journey through that lens.

              This was the beginning of the circular economy conversations in fashion. I was astounded by how smart the circular economy sounded. Let's put things into the world that we know we could take back and recycle and engage the customer in this circular behavior! We need to regenerate instead of throw out. We need to create a circular system instead of a linear one. So why aren't we doing that?

              When we started For Days we wanted to create a system that made it easy to return and recycle your clothing. There was no blueprint. So we started with t-shirts and sweats and a pretty basic product that we could guarantee recyclability on and regenerate. As we started building, we realized we could help responsibly recycle clothing beyond what we designed to relieve that burden of having too much stuff. We've worked hard to develop the logistics, shipping tools, recycling partners, and now we can offer this to more and more people.

              "Our mission is to transform the fashion industry into a circular economy. We want to transform commerce by helping at the end of a garment's life."

              How can we be better consumers from the beginning, so less ends up in a landfill?

              Durability is big. Ask yourself, "Can I hand this down? Will it stay in good shape?"

              On the material side specifically, we encourage people to focus on more natural materials. Cotton, linen, and viscose, a cellulosic fabric developed from cotton, are great. Hemp products are becoming more prevalent.

              I encourage people to stay away from poly-based fabrics. Even if it's recycled poly, they're not typically recyclable, and it usually comes from a pollutive waste stream in the first place. Of course, it's difficult when you need stretch or performance fabrics, but in that case, look for the smallest concentration.

              Dyes are incredibly important for kids. We don't talk about this enough, but they're very close to our skin, so safe dyes are super important because your skin can absorb these chemicals into the body.

              What excites you about circular fashion and recycling now?

              It's cool to watch people care and that we can make this behavior shift easier, seamless, and rewarding so you can have confidence in it. Recycling clothing through us isn't any more difficult than going to Goodwill. How long does that bag sit in the back of your trunk?

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