Wed March 17, 2010
Chicago Now | Gardening Nude
Mattias Wallander founded USAgain with the premise that going green and doing good is a great way for a business to make a positive impact on the world. His textile recycling company, USAgain, with locations in eight states and corporate headquarters in West Chicago, Illinois, has become the go-to resource for every day Americans to make a lower impact on our landfills.
Textile waste is a huge concern in the United States. Alone in 2000, Americans imported 12.65 billion pieces of apparel and produced 5.3 billion. That is over 47 pieces of clothing per person annually. Why not reuse clothing and textiles? It saves money, saves resources, and makes sense.
USAgain makes it really easy to help the environment. Look for their familiar red and white boxes usually placed at malls and parking lot locations in and near Chicago, Atlanta, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Seattle, and St. Louis. It is an easy thing to do - simply drop off your old clothes, blankets, and textiles. These items are brought back to the USAgain warehouses, sorted by usability, then distributed to organizations around the world in need of clothing. What cannot be used is sent to the textile processing plant.
This is so very important for our community because it takes a lot of money and resources to produce clothing. For instance, did you know to grow the fiber for one cotton diaper it takes 105.3 gallons of water? According to the California Cotton Ginner and Growers Association, "One T-shirt needs 256.6 gallons of water, one bath towel needs 401.4 gallons of water, a man's dress shirt requires 414.5 gallons of water, and 987 gallons of water are required for one pair of jeans."
Every workday a giant semi-truck pulls up to the USAgain's Chicago warehouse and hauls a full load of textiles away to be processed. Standing next to a single bail of clothing makes one feel as if anything is possible; and indeed Wallander and his crew are truly touching life in a positive way. Do not throw your clothing in the landfill - make a difference and find that red and white deposit box near you and deposit your old textiles.
To learn more about USAgain, go to their website - www.usagain.com.
On her blog, Shawna also features a slideshow from USAgain that you can see here.
Shawna Lee Coronado is the author of the critically acclaimed book, Gardening Nude, which is a guide for living a green lifestyle. She is the CEO of The Casual Gardener and MAD 4 World Enterprises, a newspaper columnist, energetic speaker, and environmental and health correspondent with over eighteen years of experience with sales, marketing, and public relations.