AEO x Make It Right

Reuse, repair, recycle, upcycle – every day brings a new list of ways to reduce your carbon footprint and conserve resources. Most of us are happy to toss our plastic bottles and cereal boxes into a nearby bin – but Americans still produce three pounds of unrecycled garbage per person every day.

Part of the problem is that we don’t often see the end results of our efforts. Would we be more enthusiastic about recycling if we knew our trash was being used to produce something beautiful, useful or innovative? Maybe.

Make It Right is a non-profit organization building sustainable homes for people in need around the United States. Founded by Brad Pitt, Make It Right began by building homes for Hurricane Katrina victims in New Orleans. Today Make It Right works across the country – from apartments for disabled veterans in New Jersey to single-family homes for Native American families in Montana.

Brad Pitt And Global Green USA Visit New Orleans

Founder of Make It Right, Brad Pitt

And some of the products people recycle every day around the country end up in Make It Right homes. The countertops in the kitchens and bathrooms are made of 75% recycled content – things like glass bottles and broken porcelain dishes. Carpet is made of recycled carpet – and is recycled into new carpet when its reached the end of its use in a home. In some homes, Make It Right uses drywall made of recycled paper.

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A countertop made of recycled material

Together these products make well-designed, green homes for people in need of a safe place to live. When you choose to toss a bottle or a magazine into the recycling bin, your trash could end up helping build a home for a young person transitioning out of foster care, senior citizen, single mom, firefighter or veteran.

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 Families enjoying quality time together in their new home

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New homes made possible by Make It Right 

For Earth Day 2015, AEO is helping customers turn their old jeans into new homes. Used denim jeans can be turned into safe, sustainable insulation for homes. Better insulation increases energy-efficiency, leading to lower power bills for people in need.

More than 22.3 billion pounds of unwanted clothing, shoes and other textiles end up in U.S. landfills annually – 22.3 billion pounds! Wouldn’t you rather your favorite old jeans end up keeping someone’s home warm at night than ending up in a smelly pile of trash? Those jeans served you well – they deserve better!

It takes about 2.5 pairs of jeans to make a square foot of denim insulation. So grab your old jeans – and a friend – and bring them to your local American Eagle Outfitters store to start their new life. Even better, AEO will give you 20% off a new pair of jeans when you donate your old ones. Win-win, right?

This Earth Day your recycling effort really does make a difference to hundreds of families around the country.

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COME HELP SAVE THE PLANET WITH AEO and I:CO

Guest Writer: Jennifer Gilbert, Chief Marketing Officer @ I:CO

Did you know that almost every piece of your clothing or pair of shoes is reusable or recyclable? It’s true but every year, billions of pounds of these items end up in our landfills, causing harm to our planet. American Eagle Outfitters and I:CO  (a global closed loop textile recycling company) want to help change this by making it easy, convenient and instantly rewarding for everyone to give their unwanted clothing, shoes, and accessories new life. AEO ICO Display 3

 “Live Your Life. Save Your Planet.” Collection Box.

Starting today, you can drop off those old kicks, that worn-out pair of jeans or hopelessly out of style threads into I:CO boxes at any of the 800+ American Eagle Outfitters US and Canada stores. In return, you’ll be rewarded with a text code for $5 off a pair of AEO jeans.  Every item collected helps the planet, and any proceeds from the program will be donated to the Student Conservation Association, empowering new generations of environmental leaders. What happens to the items once I:CO receives them? We re-utilize, renew and regenerate them. Items are sorted using over 350 different criteria to determine their most effective next use. This could be finding a new home as second hand clothing, reuse as cleaning cloths, recycling into fibers for carpet padding and insulation for the building and automotive industries or up-cycling into new fabrics and products. This is what we call “closing the loop.”

Clothes Sorting Upclose 72 dpi

I:CO Team sorting thru the donated clothes

Denim Recycled Scrap to Fiber 180 dpi

My hands with recycled fiber

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Finished product- Cotton T-shirt

The vision is for all products to be designed with future uses in mind, so materials can be 100% reused in a truly endless cycle.  By doing this, we will eliminate waste, preserve vital material resources, protect our environment, and enable everyone to consume in a more sustainable way. It all starts with making a simple change in behavior. We are excited about the impact the “Live Your Life. Save Your Planet.” recycling program will have on American Eagle Outfitters communities throughout North America. I believe each of us has the power to change our environment.  So go clean out your closet and come help us build a better world.

Recycle. Reward. Renew. Repeat.

To learn more, please visit www.ico-spirit.com.

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