Fri November 11, 2011

Eco-Erek and USAgain Keep More Than 2,900 Pairs of Shoes Out of Landfills

Eco-Erek Donates Shoe Drive Proceeds to Project Kaisei

CHICAGO (November 10, 2011) USAgain, a leader in the textile recycling industry, is proud to announce that 11-year-old ‘Eco-Erek' has collected over 2,900 pairs of used shoes in his 2011 drive in partnership with USAgain.

Inspired by an article in National Geographic Kids, Eco-Erek, who lives in Ohio, began collecting denim for recycling in 2009. He has collected more than 10,000 pairs of used jeans and other denim pieces to date. This year, Eco-Erek partnered with USAgain to expand his recycling mission and began collecting shoes in addition to denim.

USAgain will compensate Eco-Erek for every pound of shoes he collected. Additionally USAgain donated $5 for every $1 Erek raised from the shoes. USAgain will donate the total funds, $685, directly to a charity selected by Erek, Project Kaisei, a non-profit organization focused on increasing awareness of the scale of marine debris, its impact on the environment, and the solutions for prevention and clean-up.

"Erek is such an inspiration," said Mattias Wallander, CEO of USAgain. "His commitment to the environment is an example and an inspiration to us all. According to the EPA, 85% of discarded textiles end up in landfills. Erek's efforts to divert these completely reusable and recyclable items from being trashed in commendable."

Eco-Erek collects denim and shoes through drives that he holds across the state of Ohio. All the denim he collects is donated to Cotton. From Blue to Green ® and manufactured into housing insulation that goes to communities that have been struck by natural disasters. Last month Eco-Erek received the Environmental Achievement Award from the Ohio Environmental Council at their annual Green Gala.

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About USAgain
USAgain, a leader in the textile recycling industry, with corporate headquarters in Chicago, is a for-profit company that recycles and resells unwanted clothing and other textiles. In 2010 alone, the company collected 56 million pounds of discarded clothing. USAgain operates over 10,000 collection bins in fifteen states. Their mission is to provide consumers with a convenient and eco-friendly option to rid themselves of excess clothing, which are then diverted from landfills. For more information, visit