Global sportswear brand Puma is introducing a new scheme to encourage recycling of unwanted clothes known as the ‘Bring Me Back' program.
The Bring Me Back program aims to recycle and re-use material from unwanted items to create new products, therefore, according to Puma, "reducing the amount of virgin material that would otherwise be used to make new products."
To participate in the scheme consumers simply dispose of their unwanted items, which can include non-Puma goods, in the Bring Back Bin at Puma retail locations.
After disposal in the Bring Back Bin every item, according to Puma, is "sorted and graded...according to over 400 criteria so that there's no waste. Every item gets a new life, whether it is re-used, up-cycled for industrial use, or recycled and turned into new raw materials to produce new products."
The scheme also includes an online social element, which allows participants of the Bring Me Back program to upload a photo and write a short obituary of their recently contributed item via Puma's Bring Me Back site.
For more information about the Bring Me Back program see: http://www.puma.com/bringmeback
Corporate-led recycling schemes are not that new but are increasing in popularity. In the early 1990s Nike began its Reuse-A-Shoe scheme, which recycled old trainers into athletic and playground surfaces and new products. The company also made headlines at the 2010 football World Cup by equipping teams with jerseys made from recycled plastic bottles. Numerous other sportswear companies including New Balance and Adidas have clothing and footwear recycling programs, while Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo has a recycling program that sees used clothing from the brand redistributed to people in need throughout the world.