While Earth Day may be recognized as one day worldwide, many of us continue our sustainable efforts year round. Whether it’s shopping & buying sustainably, repurposing old furniture or donating to second-hand shops, taking these steps help us control our landfill waste and speaking of landfills, one company helping to save items going to the dump is Retold Recycling, an innovative subscription service & the easiest and most convenient way to keep your clothes out of landfill.
I had the beautiful opportunity to interview Amelia Trumble, co-founder of Retold Recycling to help consumers learn more about this “no-brainer” recycling concept.
What prompted you to start Retold?
I started Retold Recycling with my business partners Noelle Delory and Alan Yeoh, the three of us co-founders worked together in marketing at MAC Cosmetics in New York and frequently talked about a long term pivot to invest our efforts into a business that would make a positive impact on the earth. Years later, I was renovating my closets in a small New York City apartment and was frustrated to find no solution to easily declutter unwanted clothes, particularly without adding to the global landfill issues or contributing to carbon emissions. Noelle and I crystallized the idea over dinner one evening and then Alan joined us in the business!
What are some things that consumers should consider when selecting items to be sent to Retold?
The great thing about Retold is that we accept all clothes or household textiles. We just ask that they are washed and dried thoroughly before adding to your bag! Yes, that means soft dog toys, old towels, bras that have lost their underwire, underwear etc. The only items we can’t accept are those that might be covered in oil or thick paint.
How does Retold keep track of “what was saved from landfills”?
We are able to track the volume of the bags sent to our recycling partner so we know the tonnage diverted, i.e. saved from the trash can in peoples homes and into our recycling work stream. We are now at over 20 tons diverted since our launch in 2020!
What does Retold do with items that can not be reused but received?
There is actually a very small percentage of items that cannot be reused. We see 40-50% of items going to thrift stores right now (interestingly leather jackets or denim with hardware that would be challenging to technically recycle have a high demand for resale!) Where we have to dispose of an item, versus passing it to a downcycler, is generally where there has been human error and someone hasn’t followed our washing guidelines.
So, how does it work?
- Select your subscription
- Start gathering your unwanted textiles while you wait for your bags to arrive
- Pack your bags
- Drop off at local post office. Retold does the rest!
Wrapping this up, companies like these are crucial as not everywhere have recycling facilities or can accept donated items. This service brings consumers a peace of mind knowing that their donations will go towards good use.