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Thank you!

December 7, 2011

We would like to thank you for helping us achieve our goal of reducing waste on campus by giving a second life to clothes that would otherwise be thrown away. We are incredibly grateful for your support and we thank all who donated to Coatally Sustainable. If you missed our collection table in the DeNaples center and you would still like to donate new or gently used coats, please bring them to the Community Outreach office. All coats will be donated to guests at the University’s Annual Christmas Day Breakfast.

Thanks again! Keep up the green work!

 

Is for-profit recycling bad?

December 5, 2011

Consignment shops and textile recycling companies do stand to earn a profit from collecting, recycling or redistributing old clothing. Should we steer clear of giving old clothes to a for-profit organization? Not necessarily.

According to livestrong.com and The Council for Textile Recycling, textile recyclers earn $700 million each year. Each year, these recyclers take old clothes, all 2.5 billion pounds of them, and resell them for a profit. At the end of the day, regardless of the fact that these recyclers are making millions of dollars, they are helping to protect the environment by extending the life of clothing either by selling it as it is or recycling it into fibers that are used to make new goods.

Mother Nature doesn’t care whether sustainable efforts are for-profit or not for-profit. Either way, the Earth and its inhabitants benefit from every effort to reduce waste.

Fast fashion and overconsumption

December 1, 2011

Fast fashion describes the trend of buying new clothes frequently to keep up with the latest trends. Clothing manufacturers make huge profits from pumping out new styles at relatively inexpensive prices. Many shoppers revel in the opportunity to buy new, on-trend fashions that don’t break the bank. Fast fashion is great for business and great for keeping an up-to-date wardrobe, but what is this trend doing to the environment? The answer is obvious, fast fashion results in more clothing waste and more harmful emissions from clothing production.

According to an article in the New York Times, fast-fashion clothing, like all forms of clothing, results in increased carbon emissions during clothing production that wreak havoc on the atmosphere because they are known to contribute to global warming.

While it is tempting to buy cheap, on-trend clothes, it is important to consider what went into making them. To reduce your impact, buy clothes that are high-quality and will have a long life. Look for items that are easy to clean and don’t require a lot of energy to do so. Fast fashion is tempting, but by purchasing these clothes we are perpetuating a trend that jeopardizes the health of the environment.

Where to bring unused clothes

November 28, 2011

After you drop off your coats with Coatally Sustainable in the DeNaples center, where can you bring the rest of your unused clothing and shoes? Here are a few suggestions:

In Scranton…

Scranton Textile Recycling Inc.

2000 Rosanna Ave.

Scranton, PA 18509

570-342-9113

email: scranton@erexcorp.com

Scranton Textile Recycling recycles textiles and produces industrial wiping clothes from recycled materials. Clothing, stuffed toys, shoes and household textiles such as linens and towels are accepted.

St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen

500 Penn Ave.

Scranton, PA 18509

570-342-5556

 St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen accepts all clothes and shoes appropriate for the current or upcoming season. The clothes are distributed directly to those in need who visit the kitchen for meals.

Dress For Success Lackawanna

431 N. 7th Ave. Suite B
Scranton, PA 18503
570.941.0339  Fax 570.941.8595
e-mail: lackawanna@dressforsuccess.org

Dress For Success is an international non-profit organization that provides professional clothing to economically disadvantaged women. For more about Dress For Success or to find a location near you, click here. 

In Philadelphia…

 City Sports

1608 Walnut Street

Philadelphia, PA 19103

215-985-5860

 Athletic shoes in any condition will be accepted. City Sports is working in cooperation with the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program, and all athletic shoes donated to City Sports will be given to the Nike program, which recycles the shoes into reusable material. For more about Nike Reuse-A-Shoe, click here

Dress For Success Philadelphia

233 N. 12th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19106

215-351-1150

Email: philadelphia@dressforsuccess.org

For more clothing and shoe drops in your area, visit Earth911.com.

Why be sustainable?

November 21, 2011

On October 31, 2011, the Earth’s population reached seven billion. This means seven billion people are producing waste. While clothing is only a small part of the solid waste stream in the United States, it does have a significant impact on the environment in other ways.

Michael Cann, Ph.D., a professor of chemistry at the university, said it is important to look at clothing in terms of the impact it has throughout its lifetime, or from cradle to grave. Cann said clothing has a more significant environmental impact during its production stages than during its use. When clothing is in use, the only impact it has on the environment can be contributed to the water and energy used to clean it. However, clothing has a greater impact both during production and in its post-use stage.

Chemists like Cann are charged with the responsibility of coming up with environmentally benign ways of creating the raw materials needed in clothing production. Not a chemist? You can still do your part to reduce clothing waste. For non-chemists, it’s important to try to extend the life of clothing as long as possible by donating it to others in need, bringing it to a textile recycler or selling it at a consignment shop. By extending the life of clothing and recycling clothes no longer fit for use, people can reduce the amount of clothing needed to be produced, and therefore reduce the environmental impacts of clothing production.

Check out the university’s Taskforce on Sustainability.

What’s the big deal about clothing waste?

November 17, 2011

Students at the university are provided with recycling canisters for plastic, cans and paper, but what about clothing?

According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) the average American tosses 68 pounds of clothing in the trash each year. Instead of tossing old clothes in the garbage, the NRDC advocates that people resell, swap, donate or recycle their old clothing. By giving clothing a second life, Americans can cut down on textile waste, which accounts for 4% of solid waste in the United States.

About 99 percent of clothing that is thrown away can be recycled, according to The Green Guide offered by National Geographic. Recycling clothing reduces the environmental impact of clothing production. For example, recycling clothing would reduce the need for resources such as petroleum and water that are used in clothing production. Fewer pesticides would be needed to grow cotton. Further, the amount of greenhouse gases and pollutants emitted from clothing manufacturers would be reduced.

Recycled clothing can be used in a number of ways. According to The Green Guide, clothing that makes its way to a textile recycler is used to make rags, new clothing, insulation and stuffing for upholstery. Clothing that is donated to charities and consignment shops not only gets a second life, but it also creates jobs at the charity organizations and shops.

Welcome!

November 17, 2011

Welcome to Coatally Sustainable! We will be collecting coats in the Patrick and Margaret DeNaples Center on November 28 and 29 and December 5 and 6. The coats will be distributed to guests of the third annual Christmas Day Breakfast.

We invite all students, faculty and staff at the University of Scranton to participate in the coat drive by donating new or gently used coats for children and adults of all sizes. Our goal is to not only help those in need by providing them with warm coats, but to also reduce the environmental impact of the university community. We hope to help others and help the environment by giving coats a second life. Join us!