Rebecca Taylor wants your clothes — in order to recycle them, that is.
Today, the fashion brand, which launched in 1997 under the creative direction of founder Rebecca Taylor but gained a new creative director in Emily Craig in August, launched ReCollect, a program for repurposing, recycling, and reselling Rebecca Taylor clothing. The program is just one piece of the brand’s bigger goal to embrace sustainability.
Rebecca Taylor has always been ahead of the game. In November of 2018, it became one of the first brands to launch an in-house rental program. Since then, everyone from Urban Outfitters to Ganni has launched (or at the very least put plans in place) for rental programs meant to lower consumption. Renting allows Rebecca Taylor pieces to live multiple lives and avoid being thrown away after temporary use. ReCollect keeps the ball rolling towards a more sustainable future.
Here’s how it works: “A customer can go into any of the Rebecca Taylor stores or request a ReCollect label/pack on our website to return items they no longer wear or want for a $15 credit towards a new purchase,” says the company’s Brand President Janice Sullivan. “We’ll then resell the items in curated drops on RebeccaTaylor.com.” But it doesn’t stop there. To further incentivize customers to recycle their used Rebecca Taylor pieces, the brand will donate 50% of the proceeds to Cool Effect, an organization working to reduce carbon emissions.
“We’re focusing specifically on helping families build biogas digesters and clean cookstoves which will help transform harmful global warming emissions into clean, renewable energy in China,” Sullivan explains. For those of you who don’t regularly read up on carbon emissions (or its very specific terms), biogas digesters are basically tanks that digest organic materials to produce biogas, a natural energy source, according to GLW Energy. “Cool Effect has reduced over 1 million tonnes of carbon in less than four years,” says Sullivan.
In addition to resale and renting, the brand has other sustainable procedures in place. “We’ve already converted to biodegradable poly bags and use recycled and recyclable hangers, hang tags, and packing material made from recycled paper.” In addition to ReCollect, they continue to seek out new, innovative ways to further their green initiatives.
In today’s landscape, fashion brands have no choice but to incorporate sustainable practices into their repertoire. They don’t, however, have to work this hard — yet. Maybe, just maybe, steps taken by brands like Rebecca Taylor will move the dial and force competitors to work harder to taper the already-detrimental effect of fashion on the environment.