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Shoe Drive to Raise Awareness of Human Trafficking


Oakland residents are invited to recycle shoes and support local faith-based group – Reaching Our Young Ladies (ROYLS)

OAKLAND, CA (March 10, 2015) – USAgain, a local textile recycling company, has joined forces with Reaching Our Young Ladies (ROYLS), a faith-based group that provides responsive and preventative education about Human Trafficking and the Sexual Exploitation of Women and Children.

In an effort to raise funds for the group, while spreading awareness, the organization will co-host a shoe drive from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 28, at the front entrance of the Seventh Avenue Missionary Baptist Church, located at 1740 7th Ave, Oakland, CA 94606. Community members are requested to bring shoes in all shapes, sizes and conditions.

“Our partnership with ROYLS is particularly meaningful as it bridges both our missions,” said Tobin Costen, Division Manager, USAgain. “When we give a second life to unwanted clothing and shoes, we are not only helping the environment by diverting resources from landfills, we are also reducing our dependency on the manufacturing industry that relies on human resources and often forced or coerced labor.”

By the time you’ve read this sentence, another man, woman, or child will have become a victim of human trafficking. According to the United Nations, every 30 seconds another person falls victim to this global crime. With nearly 30 million annual victims of Human Trafficking, and hundreds of thousands in the United States, both organizations believe their combined efforts encourage civic responsibility.

“Creating a shift in the supply chain has a direct impact on people across the world who are trafficked into the textile and sex industry,” said Virginia Arnold and Jamar Kirton, Co-Founders of ROYLS, “On top of the fundraising support we’ll receive from the drive, as we mobilize locally, we’re appreciative of the opportunity to give the community a direct stake in making a supportive difference to our precious human resources.”

There are an estimated 14.2 million people trapped in forced labor to produce goods that are sold across the globe, according to the International Labor Organization. While it’s reported by the National Human Trafficking Resource Center that people trafficked into the garment industry may be forced to work 10-12 hours, 6-7 days per week with little to no break time for little to no pay at all.

USAgain said it looks forward to the two-fold purpose of the event. As with previous community initiatives in Oakland, including park clean ups and tree planting, efforts will make an immediate environmental impact in the area. According to data from Recyclebank, approximately 300 million pairs of shoes are sent to landfills annually. At the very least, a shoe found in a landfill takes 50 years to break down, and it’s often much longer than that (hundreds or thousands of years). Every shoe diverted from landfills reduces carbon emissions and prevents harmful chemical waste in the environment.

Organizers are hoping for a high turnout due to “Spring Cleaning” timing and are aiming to collect 3,000 pairs of shoes at this one-day shoe drive.

Bay Area Residents Give a Thumbs Up to Clothing Recycling | San Francisco


USAgain clothing collection bins continue to serve as a convenient recycling option

Hayward, CA (Jan. 20, 2015) – Five million pounds of clothing and shoes were diverted from landfills thanks to Bay Area residents. That’s 1,080 garbage trucks diverted from going to landfills!

The national textile recycler provides an outlet to give surplus clothing a second life through a network of thousands of recycling bins located nationwide. By diverting 4,725,107 pounds of textiles, USAgain and its patrons prevented 33 million pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, saved more than 7 billion gallons of water, and 27,000 cubic yards of landfill space.

USAgain recycling programs are hosted in partnership with municipalities, local businesses, event based community drives and fundraisers for schools and non-profits.

“We want to commend San Francisco area residents for their commitment to sustainability. These collections continue to keep clothing out of our landfills having a positive impact on our environment,” said USAgain CEO Mattias Wallander. “Textile recycling programs are getting attention from municipalities with a goal to improve their overall waste diversion rates and we are working diligently to assist with their goal”.

Recent data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shows 5.7 percent of the municipal solid waste (MSW) is textiles. A staggering 12 million tons of clothing and shoes end up in the garbage and make their way to the landfills every year.

“We are making progress but our mission is to further reduce the amount of clothing that ends up in the landfills through education and outreach events in addition to our clothing recycling bins,” Wallander said. “Every bit counts and our goal is to gain more partnerships and increase the textile recycling rate to 75 percent.”

Rasham Grewal

Phone: 630-293-1239 ext 1001


About USAgain

USAgain – a leader in the textile recycling industry since 1999, USAgain is a for-profit company that recycles and reuses clothing, shoes and other textiles. Its mission is to provide consumers with a convenient and eco-friendly option to rid themselves of excess clothing, which is diverted from landfills. USAgain maintains more than 12,500 collection bins in 19 states. For more information,

USAgain Sponsored Tree Planting with Sierra Club in Oakland


san fran tree planting

We were proud to sponsor a tree planting at Telegraph Avenue and at Hoover School in West Oakland this November. USAgain presented Sierra Club with a check for $4,000 to sponsor the planting of trees.

The program is a collaborative effort between Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), the UPS Foundation, local firms Custom Alloy Scrap Sales, ClifBar and USAgain. A total of 51 trees were planted. The project was brought to fruition with the help of James Thomas, OUSD lead for tree practice, Ashley Martin, Principal at Hoover, and Ali Goldstein, garden coordinator at Hoover. This is the most extensive greening of an existing OUSD campus in recent memory.

USAgain looks forward to future endeavors toward keeping Oakland green and sustainable!


USAgain Spearheads Third Annual National Coat Drive with Boys & Girls Clubs


Clothing recycler will donate coats collected to local children-in-need during Holiday season

Nov. 1, 2014 – USAgain, the textile recycling company specializing in providing consumers with a convenient and eco-friendly option to rid themselves of excess clothing, announces its third annual national coat drive that provides local Boys & Girls Clubs with donated winter clothing during the holiday season. Items may be deposited into USAgain bins throughout the month of November.

USAgain will collect warm clothes, including coats, hats, gloves and mittens to make a donation to local Boys & Girls Club organizations during the second week of December. Clothing assembled at each USAgain collection site will be directed to a local Boys & Girls Club, which will then donate the clothing to a family in need. The clothing drive provides a convenient, accessible way for people to donate locally during the season of giving.

“Our organization is proud and honored to partner with local Boys & Girls Clubs for a third year, donating winter coats to families in need” said Mattias Wallander, CEO of USAgain. “We encourage people to use our clothing bins to donate their surplus winter items to a family who truly needs them.”

Donated coats may be slightly worn but still in good enough condition to be worn again. The campaign is running nationally in 10 cities where USAgain divisions are located: Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Pennsylvania, St. Louis, San Francisco and Seattle.

To find a USAgain recycling bin to drop off winter clothing, simply visit and enter your city or ZIP code. All styles and sizes are accepted and should be placed in a bag before being placed in the bin. Details here!

Antioch & USAgain Clean-up

Antioch clean up crew

On Saturday October 4th, USAgain partnered with the Antioch Police Department and twenty-five plus members in the community, to clean up the streets of Antioch, CA. The event began at 9:00am, in the Lowe’s parking lot, with the announcement of area to cover and a paper copy of the highlighted routes to stick to.  The crew was given neon vests, gloves, bags, and a trash grabbers as they split into groups, heading in different directions to cover roughly 9 blocks between Mahogany Way and Sycamore Drive. The event was complete by 11:00am and proved to be a very successful clean-up with great opportunities to exchange info and network.

Get Ready for the America Recycles Day Challenge 2014!



Since 1997, communities across the country have come together on November 15 to celebrate America Recycles Day. Join USAgain in raising environmental awareness beyond November 15 while diverting textile waste from landfills.

  1. What is the America Recycles Day challenge?
    Throughout the month of November 2014, all participating schools will compete to collect the most textiles for recycling. The top five collecting schools will win cash prizes and all schools will raise funds for every pound collected. By hosting a USAgain collection bin on your property, your school is offering students, faculty and the local community an eco-friendly and convenient way to recycle clothes and shoes while your school earns cash per pound of textiles collected.
  2. What can my school win?
    The top five collecting schools will win $1,000, $750, $500, $250, and $100, respectively. All participating schools will raise funds per pound collected.
  3. Will my school have to sell anything in order to raise funds in this program?
    No. USAgain textile recycling fundraisers and contests don’t require any work from your school, parents or students.
  4. Does my school need to sign-up or register?
    Yes. But if your school is already hosting a USAgain bin, you are automatically registered for our school contests. For schools not already hosting a USAgain bin, please sign-up to have a USAgain bin placed on your property.
    The deadline for America Recycles Day registration is October 30, 2014.
  5. How can we promote our USAgain collection bin during the America Recycles Day challenge?
    Downloadable promotional materials, including posters, handouts and flyers designed to help you spread the word in your community, are available here.
  6. How can I see my school’s ranking or collection totals?
    Track your school’s collection results in real-time at
  7. When is the America Recycles Day challenge?
    Mark your calendars! The America Recycles Day challenge is November 1-30, 2014.
  8. Why is textile recycling so important?
    The U.S. EPA estimates that 12 million tons of textiles end up in the landfills every year. If collected, these trashed textiles are in a condition to be reused as secondhand clothing or repurposed for use as industrial wiping rags, insulation or furniture stuffing, among other uses. Learn more on our For Planet page.



Walking in Their Shoes II

We had such a successful shoe drive last time; we’re doing it again!
Join us again Saturday, September 13th from 11am to 4pm at the Seventh Ave Baptist Church, 1740 7th Ave Oakland, CA 94606.  This shoe drive will continue to raise funds to provide college sponsorships and summer camp activities through the Christopher LaVell Jones Foundation, an Oakland based organization.  Bag your surplus shoes, bring them to the USAgain truck in the church parking lot and get entered into a raffle to win one of six $50 gift cards!

We hope to see you there again. Don’t forget to tell all of your friends who missed out last time. For more info click here.

USAgain and LOV Foundation bring day of fun and learning for California children

USAgain partnered with the League of Volunteers Foundation on July 24 for their annual Field Trip in the Park event at Civic Center Park in Newark, CA. The foundation provides six weeks of summer recreational fun for low and middle income families in the Tri-City area.

More than 400 children from the Tri-City area gathered for a day full of fun, games and prizes. The USAgain booth provided a bounce house, recycled children’s books and knowledge on what the company does as whole.

All attendees that spoke with USAgain staff were able to learn about textile recycling and see examples of textiles recycled into insulation and mattress padding.

All children in attendance were given a free recycled book, a “Clean Out Your Closet” flyer for their parents to read and snow cones for an after-lunch treat.


USAgain’s second year beautifying DeFremery Park in Oakland

OAKLAND, CA. – Approximately 75 volunteers, including USAgain helpers, teamed up to clean up and beautify DeFremery Park from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., on Sat., April 26 in Oakland, California.

Council member Lynette Gibson McElhaney (District 3) and Mayor Jean Quan came out to show their support.

“Cleaning up our neighborhood parks is great for the environment and fun, too,” said Tobin Costen, USAgain’s local Division Manager. “DeFremery Park is also particularly memorable because many community leaders grew up there.”

This weekend was also the second anniversary to straighten the park up during Earth Month.

Volunteers tidied the park grounds and field house, painted benches, removed trash, picked weeds, and planted flowers and various plants.

Scroll below to check out some fun shots from the Earth Month volunteer work.

For recycling information specific to USAgain’s national divisions, visit


About USAgain

USAgain – a leader in the textile recycling – is a for-profit company that recycles and resells clothing, and other textiles. Its mission is to provide communities with a convenient and eco-friendly option to rid themselves of unwanted clothing and shoes, which is diverted from landfills. Recognized by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating, USAgain maintains more than 14,000 collection bins in 18 states.

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Tree Planting with the Sierra Club – Bay Area Chapter

This June, USAgain sponsored a tree planting with the Sierra Club – San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. We presented the club with a check for $2,000 to sponsor the planting.


We look forward to future endeavors toward keeping the Bay Area green and sustainable!