News & Press: For Immediate Release

2017 New York Textiles Summit: Advancing a Circular Economy

Tuesday, October 10, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Suzy Whalen

October 10, 2017
Scott Cassel, Chief Executive Officer + Founder, PSI, (617) 236-4822
Suzy Whalen, Outreach + Communications Senior Associate, PSI, (617) 236-8293

2017 New York Textiles Summit: Advancing a Circular Economy
Fashion industry, recyclers, and governments seek to innovate, reduce waste, and 
grow recycling jobs
New York City, NY - On October 31, the New York Product Stewardship Council (NYPSC), Re-Clothe NY Coalition, New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I), and Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) will host the 2017 New York Textiles Summit at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City to discuss how the state - and the country - can boost textiles reuse and recycling.

Conference panels will include:
  • FIT and the Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator will explore how companies can design clothing to be more sustainable, reusable, and recoverable;
  • Patagonia, Eileen Fisher, and Goodwill Industries will discuss how retailers can effectively and conveniently take back used clothing at retail stores;
  • I:CO will highlight how retailers can lead circular economy efforts in textiles manufacturing by incorporating recycled content; and
  • Tidewater Textiles Recycling and RecycleThat will illustrate how to grow domestic and international markets for post-consumer textiles. 
"We started this initiative in 2014 because 85 percent of used clothing and other textiles like sheets, towels, and curtains end up in the trash, and over one billion pounds of textiles are trashed each year in New York State," said Dan Lilkas-Rain, chair of the Re-Clothe NY Campaign for the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling and recycling coordinator for the Town of Bethlehem, NY. "Consumers need convenient locations to take their unwanted textiles-including the retail stores they already visit-along with education about textile reuse and recycling options."

For example, worn, torn, ripped, or stained textiles can be recovered as long as they are clean, dry, and odorless-but many people are unaware of this. "Each year, New York State residents throw out over $130 million worth of recoverable fabric. If that material were collected instead, we could recover that market value and create over 1,000 jobs statewide," explained Andrew Radin, NYPSC chair and recycling director for Onondaga County (NY) Resource Recovery Agency. "Manufacturers are well-positioned to run an efficient take-back system that incorporates recovered material into new products."

"One of NYSP2I's goals is to help businesses optimize for cost-effective and innovative manufacturing that reduces environmental impact," added Chuck Ruffing, director of the NYSP2I. "All those involved in the textiles supply chain - from product designers to manufacturers to retailers - need a seat at the table to develop next steps in a way that is consistent with the needs of government and industry."

"Last year, PSI facilitated the development of the Re-Clothe NY Coalition's Standards, which ensure transparency, data sharing, and the best possible use of donated textiles among its members," said Scott Cassel, chief executive officer and founder of PSI. "We're honored to coordinate this Summit to bring industry and government leaders together to advance product stewardship for textiles."

Media may participate free of charge. A full agenda and other details can be found on the PSI website. Register to attend the conference in-person or remotely; the remote option also allows you to pick and choose specific sessions of interest. Please contact Suzy Whalen at or (617) 236-8293 if you wish to attend or have questions. 

About the Re-Clothe NY Coalition
ReClothe NY is comprised of textiles recyclers, local governments, non-profit reuse organizations, and others working together to increase the amount of textiles recovered for reuse and recycling in New York State. The Coalition started as a partnership between the Council for Textile Recycling (CTR),  New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling (NYSAR3), and the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles (SMART) Association.

About the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI)
PSI is a national, membership-based nonprofit committed to reducing the health, safety, and environmental impacts of consumer products across their lifecycle with a strong focus on sustainable end-of-life management. Headquartered in Boston, Mass., PSI takes a unique product stewardship approach to solving waste management problems by encouraging product design changes and mediating stakeholder dialogues. With 47 state environmental agency members, along with hundreds of local government members from coast-to-coast, and 110 corporate, business, academic, non-U.S. government, and organizational partners, we work to design, implement, evaluate, strengthen, and promote both legislative and voluntary product stewardship initiatives across North America. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

About the New York Product Stewardship Council (NYPSC)
NYPSC works to implement the principles of product stewardship in New York State and nationally by providing leadership, guidance, and resources (including policies, evaluations, and educational tools) to individuals, organizations, institutions, local governments, the state legislature, elected officials, and manufacturers. Product stewardship is the act of minimizing health, safety, environmental and social impacts of a product and its packaging throughout all lifecycle stages, and maximizing economic benefits. The producer of a product has the greatest ability to minimize adverse impacts, but other stakeholders such as suppliers, retailers, and consumers also play a role. NYPSC educates these stakeholders about the benefits of product stewardship and provides a forum for the exchange of information regarding existing policies and programs.

About the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I)
Sponsored by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, NYSP2I is led by the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), and is a partnership between RIT, Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the State University of New York at Buffalo, and the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership. NYSP2I's goal is to make the state more sustainable for workers, the public, the environment and the economy through pollution prevention. Pollution prevention is reducing or eliminating waste at the source by modifying production processes, promoting the use of non-toxic or less-toxic substances, implementing conservation techniques, and reusing materials rather than putting them into the waste stream. 

The Product Stewardship Institute, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer and provider. Persons with disabilities who require alternatively formatted materials to ensure effective communication should contact Amanda Nicholson at or (617) 236-4833. For TTY, please dial 711 or 800-439-2370; MassRelay.
Any opinions, findings, and/or interpretations of data contained herein are the responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions, interpretations or policy of Rochester Institute of Technology and its NYS Pollution Prevention Institute or the State. Funding provided by the NYS Pollution Prevention Institute through a grant from the Environmental Protection Fund as administered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.