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  • Most people still care about sustainability in apparel despite tough economic times, survey says.
  • UNIQLO’s Manhattan flagship store offers low-cost repairs to worn clothes from the brand.
  • Many stores offer reward points or discounts for unwanted clothes and shoes.

As the fashion industry explores new sustainable practices, retailers are finding ways to make going green more attractive for customers.

Although many are changing their shopping habits for fear of a recession, 57% of shoppers say they still want the fashion industry to become more sustainable, according to a Nosto survey.

Sustainably made clothes may cost more, but there are brands that offer easy – and even lucrative – ways to help the planet.

These eight brands offer low or no-cost clothes repairs and incentives for recycling items.

UNIQLO

As part of the company’s RE. UNIQLO project, shoppers can stop by the SoHo flagship store to have clothes fixed by an employee for $5 per repair. Services include button replacement, zipper repairs and mending holes, according to the company website.

If you just want to clear out some old UNIQLO gear, the brand also offers drop-off bins at participating locations. The incentive for recycling pre-loved clothes? Knowing you’ve done a good deed for the day.

Patagonia

Worn Wear is Patagonia’s way of extending the life of its garments by allowing customers to trade in old clothes for store credit. Then, gently used clothes are sold at a steep discount depending on their condition.

You can either mail your clothes or find the closest Patagonia store to get credit toward future purchases.

The North Face

If you’re visiting a North Face location any time soon, be sure to bring unwanted clothing and footwear. The brand offers a $10 reward toward a purchase worth $100 or more. Its Clothes The Loop Program is part of a partnership with non-profit Soles4Souls.

Levi’s

The denim giant offers recycling in all of its store locations, but some Levi’s location take the good deed a step further. Like Patagonia, Levi’s SecondHand allows customers to trade in vintage and pre-worn denim for a gift card if the items are eligible for resale.

American Eagle Outfitters

American Eagle wants shoppers to drop off old jeans instead of throwing them out. Members of the Real Rewards program get $10 off their next pair of jeans just for bringing in an old pair to recycle.

According to the site, the old jeans are repurposed as part of a collaboration with Cotton’s Blue Jeans Go Green, another recycling program.

Carter’s

Babies constantly are growing out of their clothes, so Carter’s partnered with TerraCycle to incentivize recycling  items. Its Baby & Kid Clothing Free Recycling Program awards points, which can then be turned into discounts, to those who mail in unwanted baby clothes of any brand. Shipments of 15 or more pounds earn 25 points, but there’s a limit of one package per month.

Gap

The retailer offers two options for keeping clothes out of landfills. Customers can pick up a Clean Out Kit from the nearest Gap location and fill it with any shoes and clothes they don’t need. The items will be sold by ThredUP in exchange for Gap shopping credit.

If you’d rather just donate, the retailer offers that option too, through its partnership with Give Back Box. 

H&M

Since 2013, the brand has operated its Garment Collecting program that allows customers to hand in unwanted clothes of any brand in exchange for a shopping voucher on their next purchase. In 2019, H&M launched a rental service in its Stockholm stores that allows shoppers to rent clothes from its Conscious Exclusive collections. 



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