Episode 5

Debrand: Extending the Life Cycle of Used Textiles

Debrand helps leading clothing brands achieve their sustainability goals through the power of reverse-logistics and textile recycling technology.

32 minutes | Mar. 1, 2023

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Amelia Eleiter is the Co-founder and CEO of Debrand, a leading textile recycling solutions provider in North America. Amelia and co-founder Wes Baker launched Debrand to help the world’s leading apparel brands achieve their product sustainability goals. The company specializes in the secure reverse logistics of obsolete, damaged, or returned goods, with a focus on extracting as much value as possible from our planet’s finite resources.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Debrand’s origin story and how Amelia and Wes became involved in sustainable fashion
  • Amelia explains reverse logistics and Debrand’s solutions
  • How has reverse logistics evolved?
  • Debrand’s goals for its strategic investment from WM (formerly Waste Management)

In this episode…

The fashion industry generates significant waste, as approximately 85% of unwanted clothing items end up in our landfills. To counteract this, some major retailers have launched take-back programs to encourage consumers to donate their used clothing items for recycling, often in exchange for a discount on future purchases. But recycling clothing isn’t as easy as it sounds, as many textiles today consist of multi-fiber material blends which are difficult to separate into raw materials for recycling or reuse. With the challenges in recycling used textiles, how can brands implement sustainable solutions?

Debrand partners with apparel companies to develop innovative reverse logistics solutions to extend the life cycle of textiles through recycling, repair, and reuse. As a starting point, Amelia Eleiter advises brands to consider their products’ end-of-life potential right from the design stage, by selecting materials that ensure each garment is created to last beyond its first use. Additionally, brands should make efforts to ensure their customer returns are processed efficiently so they can be resold, or redirected into alternative sales channels. By moving goods back through the supply chain and allocating them to meet their partners’ sustainability goals, Debrand helps brands extract the highest value from their products and materials.

Resources mentioned in this episode: