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.”

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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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AEO + SCA win Golden Halo Award

Our 2013 partnership with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) won the Golden Halo Award at the 12th annual Cause Marketing Forum Conference in Chicago, IL. yesterday.  The recipient of this award holds North America’s most prestigious honor in the field of cause marketing. The 12-week “AEO + SCA + You” campaign that caught the attention of the award givers, featured hundreds of college students serving in two national parks, a fundraising component that raised $500,000 to support future conservation efforts, and a combination of in-store, online and social media activity that spread SCA’s youth conservation movement to millions nationwide.  “This exciting campaign allowed us to extend conservation from national parks to hundreds of American Eagle stores and communities nationwide,” said SCA President Dale Penny.   “Environmental sustainability is one of the most important issues among our customers,” added American Eagle Outfitters Foundation Director Marcie Eberhart.  “Our customers stepped up to serve and lend their voice and support to SCA.  That’s what ‘Live Your Life’ is all about.”

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From left to right: SCA’s VP of Communications: Kevin Hamilton, Cause Marketing Forum President: David Hessekiel,  American Eagle Outfitters Foundation Director: Marcie Eberhart, and SCA’s: Jamie Patten and Peter Bokolas 

This year, we combined efforts to beautify and clean up urban parks throughout the country as part of #HeARTTHISCITY Alternative Spring Break. Each of the urban park efforts were concluded with the installation of a cool, one-of-kind piece of art that will continue to inspire visitors to always take care of and HeART our cities!

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 #HeARTTHISCITY Donor Pictures

SCA is the only national organization that develops tomorrow’s conservation leaders by providing high school and college students with service opportunities in all 50 states, from urban communities to national parks and forests.  And for the last seven years, AEO has been the signature sponsor of SCA’s Alternative Spring Breaks.  Past projects have included the following- planting endangered Joshua trees in Joshua Tree National Park, building hiking trails in the Grand Canyon and restoring vital wildlife habitat in the Everglades, Padre Island, Big Cypress and the Santa Monica Mountains.

We want to thank SCA and you, our customers, for continuing to help us make a difference. We are honored to have received this year’s Golden Halo Award.

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