About I:CO

What is I:CO?

TURNING OLD INTO NEW – A GOOD IDEA, WELL-THOUGHT-OUT!

I:CO means a global commitment to our environment. Each one of us can get involved and make a contribution to something big without any great effort. Sustainable consumption. Isn’t that an oxymoron? No, it’s not. The name I:CO stands for “I collect.“ Our system is as follows: We can all give back our discarded clothing, shoes or accessories such as belts or bags to the places we bought them. Worldwide I:CO provides the infrastructure to ensure that the valuable raw materials from these old textiles enter a closed loop production cycle and remain there. From collection to recycling, consumer goods are recycled and put to a new use. In this way every consumer and every participating company is actively contributing to climate protection.

Did you know?
The production of a T-shirt consumes between 10,000 and 30,000 liters of water and means additional CO2 emissions of 3.6 kg. With a recycling process, only 5 to 10 percent of these quantities are used or produced!

How does I:CO work?

HERE’S HOW – WIN-WIN SITUATION FOR MANKIND AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Why is it worthwhile joining in? The I:CO system is simple yet ingenious. Numerous commercial partners are involved, including global players such as Esprit, C & A, Adler and Reno. Their customers deposit used textiles with them, and thus create space for new things. How do you benefit? In exchange, customers receive a voucher with which they can immediately get money off a new purchase.

Men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, leather clothing and furs, underwear and socks, belts and bags, bed, table and household linen and cushions are all collected in the designated I:CO boxes and at I:CO Counters. I:CO arranges their environmentally-friendly removal, sorting and reuse. This creates the basis for the permanent, 100 % reuse of resources. The aim is to integrate all collected textiles and shoes into a recycling process by 2020, while completely eliminating waste products.

Did you know?
It is already possible to recycle 30 % of the old items collected – and that figure is rising. Textiles are used, for example, as insulation material for the construction industry, for cushioning and filling material, for stuffed toys, insoles or bags; shoes are turned into floorings, keyrings, protective packaging, pellets or hard casing.

The I:CO philosophy

TAKE RESPONSIBILITY – ECOLOGICAL CONCEPT MEETS CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

In every country in which I:CO collects textiles and shoes the following rule applies: A recycling plant is built when used goods exceed a volume of 500 tons per day – and this creates jobs too! This is a major economic factor as well, and particularly in the world’s poorest countries. With what is known as downcycling, parts of sneakers are already being turned into running tracks or underlay for children’s playgrounds. I:CO’s aim goes farther, however, and is known as upcycling. This involves a reusage process which creates a product of equal or higher value. To achieve this, the product must be designed correctly from the start. The system therefore depends on the initiative of manufacturers and also on the help of consumers: The more they ask for goods produced in a raw materials cycle, the faster these items will establish themselves in the market.

Multiplying strengths
All players involved in I:CO are making a contribution to the environment and our society. Those who join in help to prevent millions of tons of valuable raw material from being simply tossed in the garbage. For every returned kilogram of clothing, linen or shoes, the I:CO partner companies also donate two eurocents to the CharityStar fund. Once 1,000 euros has been reached, this sum is paid out to a charitable project. Implementing good ideas ourselves, and helping to get other good ideas moving – that is the I:CO philosophy.

I:CO – The company

PART OF A STRONG GROUP – SUCCESSFUL IN EUROPE OR AN EYE ON THE INTERNATIONAL AND GLOBAL STAGE

The name I:CO stands for "I collect". I:Collect AG is part of the SOEX GROUP and is based in Switzerland. I:CO provides the infrastructure to ensure that the valuable raw materials from used textiles enter a closed loop production cycle and remain there. From collection to recycling, consumer goods are recycled and put to a new use. I:CO has its collection points all over the world. SOEX GROUP has more than 2,000 employees worldwide and currently processes around 700 tons of used items every day in more than 90 countries.

 

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