Solving the Fast Fashion Conundrum to Save the Planet
HELPSY is a company whole business model revolves around keeping unwanted clothes from being thrown in the garbage. In fact it’s main objective does not stem from charitable intentions, but rather a commitment to preserving the environment.
Over the past year, HELPSY collected 25 million pounds of clothes. To put it in perspective, the impact is equivalent to reducing 320 million pounds of CO₂ emissions, 20 billion gallons of water and the electricity usage of 10,000 American homes.
As the largest textile collection company in the Northeast US, HELPSY collaborates with partners to distribute collection containers, organize drives and spread the word that clothes don’t have to be treated like trash. “Unlike most used clothing businesses we have an environmental mission: to keep clothes out of the trash. We believe that the tragedy of clothing filling our landfills and incinerators needs to stop,” states their website.
It explains further that “95% of what we collect is reused, upcycled, or recycled. 75% is reusable, 20% is recyclable. It is first sorted by our partners and divided into grades. The higher grades are resold to thrift stores in North America and other second hand markets around the world. The lower grades get turned into rags for industrial use or things like stuffing and insulation. Clothing reuse is a big deal. It reduces the enormous environmental burden of the second most polluting industry in the world.”