Mon March 11, 2013

USAgain to give away 1,500 prom dresses at Prom Goes Green

Clothing recycler to promote reuse among Chicago-area residents

CHICAGO—Students from throughout the Chicagoland area will have a chance to find the prom dress that’s not only the perfect fit for them, but a good fit for the environment, too.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 6, clothing recycler USAgain will host a prom-dress giveaway at Malcolm X College, 1900 W. Van Buren St., with parking available in the Jackson Street lot opposite the United Center. All the dresses, which include a variety of styles and sizes, are gently used and like-new. Some even have tags on them.

“High school students nowadays really embrace the importance of being environmentally conscious,” says Mattias Wallander, CEO of West Chicago-based USAgain. “And while the costs of prom add up quickly, we’re proud to offer them a “green,” cost-effective alternative.”

USAgain will make more than 1,500 dresses available for the event, and shoppers need only to present their valid student I.D. from any local high school – public or private, city or suburban – to take one home. USAgain also encourages participates to bring an old t-shirt that they choose to have recycled rather than throwing it out. 

“Luckily, the former owners of these dresses opted not to put them in the trash where they would get buried in landfills, taking up space and contributing to greenhouse gasses,” Wallander says. “We’re very fortunate to have the kind of inventory that allows us to offer good, quality dresses that help out the environment as well.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans throw out 85 percent of their clothing, amounting to more than 11 million tons of textiles that get dumped in landfills. USAgain, a for-profit company, offers a convenient, no-cost alternative to dispose of unwanted clothing and shoes by placing items its green and white bins.

USAgain diverted nearly 58 million pounds of unwanted clothing and shoes in 2012, including 9 million pounds in the Chicago area, that would have otherwise been thrown into the trash and ultimately buried in landfills. Overall, that saved nearly 331,000 cubic yards of landfill space, conserved 406 million pounds of carbon emissions and spared 81 billion gallons of water.

 “Just like recycling bottles and cans for glass and aluminum, more or more people are recycling their clothing for re-use or re-purposing the fabric for insulation,” Wallander said. 


About USAgain

USAgain – a leader in the textile recycling industry with corporate headquarters in West Chicago – is a for-profit company that recycles and resells reusable clothing and other textiles. Its mission is to provide consumers with a convenient and eco-friendly option to rid themselves of excess clothing, which is diverted from landfills. In 2012, USAgain was awarded an “A” rating by the Better Business Bureau. It maintains more than 10,000 collection boxes in 18 states and has nearly 300 employees. For more information, visit