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Target Collects Unwanted Denim With I:Collect

Target is helping shoppers get rid of their old denim clothing, and giving them an incentive to do so.

The retailer announced Tuesday that between March 11 to March 24, Target stores throughout the Pacific Northwest will collect customers’ old denim clothing in exchange for a 20 percent discount on a brand-new pair of jeans.

For this trade-in program, Target teamed with I:Collect (I:CO), a company that specializes in collecting, recycling and reusing clothing, shoes and textiles. The program will serve as a pilot for I:CO to test different incentive strategies and better understand what works best for consumers and retailers.

I:CO said that throughout the partnership, it expects to keep more than 50 thousand pounds of denim out of landfills.

Once Target collects the clothing, I:CO will sort them into two piles: reuse and recycle. Items in the reuse pile will be resold as secondhand goods. Clothing that can no longer be worn will be recycled to become products for textile or material used for other industries, like furniture stuffing, yarns for new clothing and carpet padding.

Buttons and other hardware are sorted for use in the metalworking industry, while dust produced during the recycling process is pressed into briquettes for the cardboard industry and textiles not suitable for any other purpose are used as material for energy production.

Target recently bowed a new women’s denim collection, Universal Thread. The line boasts sustainable materials including pockets made with Repreve polyester derived from recycled plastic bottles.