The denim brand recently launched an in-store recycling program in which it collects worn clothing from customers and gives it a second life through a partnership with recycling solutions provider Homeboy Recycling, which sorts and processes items for repair and resale, as well as upcycling and recycling.
The mission-based organization employs people committed to transforming their lives after incarceration. Known for its gang rehabilitation and re-entry program, Homeboy Recycling focuses on developing businesses that create jobs and meaningful training opportunities in L.A.
“Our partnership with Homeboy Recycling creates a pathway toward the development of more sustainable products,” said Carlos Alberini, Guess, Inc. CEO. “This initiative represents another strong step toward our Vision Guess commitment to develop more circular business models. The Guess partnership with Homeboy Recycling creates economic opportunities for our L.A. community and offers a solution for apparel and textile waste.”
The partnership complements other circular initiatives Guess has in place, including its growing take-back program called Resourced. The program calls for consumers to donate unwanted clothing and footwear, which will be sorted by the recycling solutions provider I:Collect. The pandemic delayed Resourced’s rollout in Europe, but it is currently available in all the brand’s U.S. stores.
Guess’ latest partnership marks Homeboy Recycling’s first foray into textile recycling, as the organization typically focuses on IT asset refurbishment. After a successful pilot period, the initiative is being rolled out at all Guess, Guess Factory, Accessories and Marciano stores across the U.S. Customers who bring in five or more items of used clothing from any brand or store will receive a 15 percent discount on their next full-priced qualifying Guess purchase.
Guess joins a number of fashion leaders using their influence to support the formerly incarcerated and call for prison reform. In December, Demna, the Vetements co-founder and Balenciaga creative director formerly known as Demna Gvasalia teamed with Kanye West-turned-Ye on a limited-edition line of apparel calling attention to the case of Larry Hoover, the Chicago gang leader serving six life sentences in Colorado for a litany of offenses including murder, extortion and money laundering.
In September, Dickies debuted its“United By Good Work” campaign highlighting three community-based organizations including Alma Backyard Farms, which gives formerly incarcerated individuals opportunities in urban farming.
In-store recycling is popping up at retailers around the world, with Irish fast-fashion retailer Primark offering a system of its own. In 2020, the Primark In-Store Recycling Scheme was rolled out to 190 stores throughout the U.K. to collect used goods, regardless of brand. More recently, teen specialty retailer Pacsun debuted PacDenim For A Better Tomorrow, which invited customers to drop off used denim made with at least 90 percent cotton or greater in exchange for $10 off their next purchase of Pacsun Denim at a Pacsun retail location.