Welcome to SMART!
The Association of Wiping Materials, Used Clothing
and Fiber Industries Since 1932
As an international trade association, SMART strengthens the economic opportunities of our diverse membership by promoting the interdependence of our industry segments and providing a common forum for networking, education and trade. More about us
- 7/17/17 — SMART Testifies on Economic Impact of Pending Secondhand Clothing Ban in East Africa Community
Violations of African Growth and Opportunity Act Spark Benefits Eligibility Review
SMART educates consumers on recyclable textiles on Earth Day and year-round.
ABINGDON, Md. (July 17, 2017)— Representatives of the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) recently testified in front of the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to object to a proposed ban on secondhand clothing imports from the U.S. by members of the East African Community (EAC). SMART, a trade association, acted on behalf of its numerous small and medium-sized member companies who use, convert and recycle pre-and post-consumer textiles, including used clothing. Click HERE for the press release.
- 4/5/17 — Save the Planet, A Single Sock at a Time
SMART educates consumers on recyclable textiles on Earth Day and year-round.
ABINGDON, Md. (April 5, 2017)—This Earth Day (April 22), think before you throw out that sock that lost its mate: that single sock, along with shoes, handbags, belts, stuffed animals and much more can all serve a much higher purpose than adding to the local landfill pile. According to Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) Executive Director Jackie King, more than 95 percent of all textiles can be recycled or reused in some way—and that's very good for our planet. Yet according to the latest U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) "Advancing Sustainable Materials Management" report, the numbers surrounding textile waste are staggering. Out of 16.22 million tons of discarded textiles in 2014, only 2.62 million tons were recycled. Even worse, textile waste in the United States has risen by nearly ten percent from 2013 and overall recycling growth rates have leveled off in the past five years. Click here for the full press release.
- 12/21/16 — SMART Strongly Encourages Shoppers Give the Gift of Textile Recycling This Holiday Season
If you're like many households across America, you might be in the midst of a last minute dash to de-clutter before Christmas. But don't toss those outgrown, stained or unwanted clothes and other textiles in the trash just yet: according to Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) Executive Director Jackie King, more than 95 percent of all textiles can be recycled or reused in some way. Click here for the full press release.
- 11/30/16 —Registration for the SMART 2017 Annual Convention is now OPEN!
The SMART 2017 Annual Convention is headed back to the west coast! Join SMART for three days of networking and education. We have a great lineup of speakers planned and a lot of networking time at this beautiful ocean front location. Click here for more information.
- 11/18/16 —EAC's ban on used clothing to have severe impact: SMART
East African Community (EAC)'s decision to phase out the imports of secondhand clothing items by 2019 is likely to have devastating economic impact in the region. The industry generates over thousands of jobs in East Africa and eliminating them will force entrepreneurs into poverty, says Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART).
"The ban directly contradicts requirements that African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) beneficiaries work towards eliminating 'barriers to United States trade and investment' and promote 'economic policies to reduce poverty.' SMART seeks the reversal of the EAC's ban and the roll back of the recently increased duties in EAC member nations no later than the next EAC Heads of State Summit," Jackie King, executive director of SMART, a US based non-profit organisation, told Fibre2Fashion. Click here to read the full article.
- 11/4/16 —? SMART 2017 Annual Convention Sponsorship Options are now available
SMART is offering members several sponsorship opportunities for the 2017 Annual Convention. Sponsorship of an event is an inexpensive way to market your business, gain new customers and get in front of your target market. Click here to view the sponsorship options.
- 10/27/16 —Recycled Textile Associations Unite to Combat Media Misconceptions of Secondhand Clothing Industry
The Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) and the Textile Recycling Association (TRA) today issued a joint statement in response to negative and unfavorable media coverage.
ABINGDON, Md. (October 27, 2016) — On the heels of recent news coverage in both Newsweek (September 9) and the Huffington Post (September 19 and September 28) that cast the secondhand clothing industry in a less than favorable light, trade associations in both the U.S. and the U.K. today issued a response to clarify the negative coverage presented while reinforcing the worldwide value of the recycled textile movement. Click here for the full press release.
- 10/7/16 —Why You Should NEVER Throw Old Clothes In The Trash
Got old clothes you're planning to trash? You have lots of company. In 2013 alone, Americans discarded 15.1 million tons of clothing and other textiles, and 85 percent of that wound up in landfills. That's a bad thing, and not just because your old clothes could have been reused or recycled rather than being stuck in the ground. And not just because there are better uses for the land that landfills occupy — or because transporting textile waste to landfills is so costl Click here to view the entire article.
- 8/31/16 —SMART Testifies on Humanitarian and Economic Impacts of Secondhand Clothing Ban Underway in East Africa Community
Violations of African Growth and Opportunity Acts Spark Potential Benefits Eligibility Review
Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) Executive Director Jackie King encouraged U.S. officials to review closely whether members of the East African Community (EAC) should continue to be eligible for special trade benefits in light of an impending import ban on her industry's products there. Click here for the full press release.
- 7/20/2016 —Registration is now open for the SMART Fall Regional Meeting!
The Fall Regional Meeting is expanding!
Join SMART members and prospective members for a full day of programming and networking. This year's Fall Regional Meeting will kick off with a networking reception on Sunday, September 25th and continue on Monday, September 26th with speakers, a panel discussion on the EAC Ban, chapter meetings, networking and more! Click here for more information.
- 5/11/16 —SMART's Executive Director, Jackie King was featured today on national radio, NPR's Morning Edition
Click here to listen to the interview.
The interview was also featured by WSKG news in New York. Click here for more.
- 12/2/15 —Registration is now open for the SMART 2016 Annual Convention
The SMART 2016 Annual Convention will provide you with full servings of your favorite meeting entrees including organic networking, hand-picked speakers, heirloom experiences and hand-crafted educational sessions you won't want to miss. Mark your calendars for February 20-23, 2016 and make your reservations now at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs, Florida. Click here for more information.
- 11/6/15 —Congratulations to this year's winner of the Upcycled Halloween Costume Contest — Natalie Keyes Adams and her son, dressed as Thor!
His pants and shirt are his own that he has outgrown. His "armor" is made from an old yoga mat and his cape and arm bands are from old drapes. His hammer is an old cardboard box and a wrapping paper tube covered in yoga mat material and leftover fabric from an old project. I only had to purchase silver glue and a hot glue gun! Thank you to all who entered and your commitment to keeping textile waste out of our landfills. Click here to see the winning photo.
- 7/23/15 —Levi's now accepts used clothing and shoes for recycling at all US stores and outlets
Americans send about 24 billion pounds of unwanted clothing, shoes, and other textiles to landfills each year, which is simply a staggering amount of waste, considering that an estimated 95% of those textiles could be recycled, if only there were simple, easy, and widespread ways for consumers to do so. As part of its sustainability initiatives, the iconic denim brand Levi Strauss & Co. is taking a step toward reducing this massive stream of potentially recyclable waste by offering customers a pathway to recycling clothing (and shoes), and even offering a financial incentive for doing so. Click here for the full article.
- 7/16/15 —Textile Recycling News - "Deakin University: Process Takes Textile Recycling to New Level"
Victoria, Australia - Researchers at Deakin University have found a way to separate blends of cotton-polyester material, providing a major breakthrough for recycling textile and other waste. Click here for the full article.
- 6/30/15 —Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Member Sets the Standard for Sorting Recycled Clothing
ABINGDON, Md. (June 30, 2015)-Textile Recycler, a member of the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART), the international trade association of the for-profit used clothing reuse and recycling industry, diverts more than half a million pounds of clothing and 10,000 pounds of shoes each week from landfills with the use of automatic sorting systems. According to Jackie King, executive director for SMART, for more than 400 years, the used clothing and textile recycling industry has relied heavily on manual sorting and grading processes and has seen little to no technological advances since its inception. In 2009, Textile Recycler installed a patented auto grading system from Smart Innovations to eliminate the manual sorting of recycled clothing, increasing efficiency and productivity, and reducing labor costs. In 2014, Textile Recycler installed an automated shoe sorting system and is the only textile recycling company in the world to use one. Click here for the full press release.
- 6/15/15 — Update on Proposed East African Country Ban on Importation of Used Clothing
SMART has recently received some inquiries regarding the status of a proposed ban on secondhand clothing in East Africa so I wanted to take the opportunity to provide an update. As members will recall, the East African countries of Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda announced during the 16th East African Community Heads of State summit in February that they were considering a ban on the importation of used clothing and used shoes. Although they claimed this proposal was intended to boost their domestic textile industry, we know this argument is without merit. Those who make up the market for used clothing in these countries are not the same as those who make up the market for new clothing. Eliminating the import of secondhand clothing will simply reduce the availability of affordable clothing to those who need it most, will lead to more contraband and will cause these governments to lose vital tariff revenues. Click here for more information.
- 3/31/15 — Association's Elementary Education Program Reaches 1 Million Students Nationwide
The Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART), the international trade association for the for-profit used clothing recycling industry, reports it has reached more than 1 million students through its elementary education program. Developed in partnership with The Education Center, the no-cost curricula provides grade-appropriate resources for elementary teachers on the benefits of recycling used clothing and household textiles. Since the program's launch in October 2012, 20,257 teachers nationwide have engaged in the program, with more than 21,000 resource downloads reaching 1,093,878 students. Click here for the full press release.
- 2/23/15 — SMART featured in the eCycle Best Blog
eCycle Best is a team of writers passionate about technology and the environment. They aim to bring together recycling advocates, green influencers and industry experts by providing a venue where "green" stuff can be proactively discussed and shared.
Textile Recycling Problems Need a SMART Solution — Our featured recycling organization this week has been around since 1932. The association runs companies not only in the United States, but also in Canada, Mexico, South and Central America, Europe, Asia, and Pacific Rim countries. It is the leading industry voice promoting high standards and best practices for reducing solid waste by recycling textiles and related secondary materials. Get to know SMART — Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association! Click here for the full blog.