Recycling program will turn fleece jackets into raw fibre

    MEC(TM) first Canadian retailer to take closed-loop approach

    VANCOUVER, May 10 /CNW/ - In a first among Canadian retailers, Mountain
Equipment Co-op(TM) (MEC) has introduced a garment recycling program for
polyester-based clothing into its stores. The program is another step in the
outdoor retailer's commitment to sustainability.
    Under the program, consumers will be able to deposit such things as
fleece jackets and pants that contain at least 90 per cent polyester content
at one of MEC's eleven stores across Canada.
    "This program is a simple but profound example of how seriously we take
the need to develop sustainable business practices," said Gary Faryon, MEC's
senior manager of operations. "It's truly a closed-loop approach."
    Clothing items collected through the program will be assessed for reuse
or recycling.
    Useable items will be donated to community groups. Unuseable items will
be collected in MEC's Richmond, BC Distribution Centre and then shipped by
container ship to Japan, where they will be reprocessed by Teijin Fibers
through the textile manufacturer's Eco Circle(TM) recycling system.
    Teijin's fibre-to-fibre recycling system breaks down polyester garments
by crushing them, turning them into granules and then running them through a
chemical process to remove dyes and other chemicals. The resulting monomers
are then repolymerized into raw polyester.
    "Diverting polyester waste from landfills is only one of the
environmental benefits of our garment recycling program," said MEC materials
development manager Greg Scott. "The other benefits include reducing the
energy used in polyester manufacturing and dramatically reducing petroleum
inputs, which form the basis of virgin polyester."
    MEC will accept polyester garments that bear its in-house label as well
as those bearing an Eco Circle label, Patagonia's Common Threads Recycling
label, and Polartec(R) labels from any other brand.

    MEC is Canada's leading retailer of outdoor clothing and equipment,
providing quality products and services for activities like hiking, climbing,
cycling and skiing. Established in 1971, MEC has more than 2.5 million members
throughout Canada and around the world.

For further information:

For further information: Tim Southam, Communications Manager, (604)
707-4480 (Direct), (778) 388-1275 (Cell),; Nadia Beaupré,
Communications and Marketing Coordinator, (604) 707-4466,

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