The #WearNext campaign City and industry in collaboration to save clothes from landfill

AJ Gonzalez | June 18, 2021

Ellen MacArthur Foundation, New York City: The #WearNext campaign

City and industry in collaboration to save clothes from landfill


The need – New York City landfills around 100,000 tonnes (or 200 million pounds) of clothing every year. Landfilling is not only damaging to the environment, it is hugely expensive. The disposal of residential waste alone costs New York residents USD300 million per year.

The solution – New York City joined forces with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular initiative, fashion brands, collectors, recyclers, and resale companies to launch the #WearNext campaign in 2019. #WearNext was a collaborative communication campaign which encouraged New Yorkers to keep clothes in use and out of landfills. The New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) created an online interactive map which marks over 1,100 clothing collection points across the city, allowing New Yorkers to easily find their local drop-off point.

The outcomes – #WearNext has been successful in raising awareness about New York City’s existing clothing collection infrastructure. Compared to the same time period in 2018, collection volumes have increased by 583 tonnes across a number of city collection points.

How does the initiative support the transition to a circular economy? – Applying circular economy principles to a traditional waste management issue can unlock opportunities to keep products and materials in the economy and reduce waste.

Explore more about Circular Economy in Cities

This case study belongs to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circular Economy in Cities suite of online resources, which acts as a reference point for urban policymakers on the circular economy. It draws out opportunities in three key urban systems – buildings, mobility, and products – and looks at how city governments can enable a circular economy transition.

Five modules aim to answer the critical questions on this topic:

  • Vision: What will the implementation of circular economy principles in cities look like?
  • Factsheets: What are the circular economy opportunities in key urban systems and what benefits can a circular economy transition bring?
  • Policy levers: What can urban policymakers do to accelerate this transition?
  • Case studies: What examples are there of urban policymakers already putting this into action?
  • Other networks & resources: What are other organisations doing on the topic of circular economy and cities?

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