Cathy Porto is the Field Marketing Manager for Savers. How did you first get involved in the green industry? What I really like about working for Savers is the support we give to over 100 nonprofit partners nationwide. We are very green and repurpose is our mission! It is not just regular retail! What interests you most about being green? Being green has been part of Savers since the start. In fact, the company is one of the largest textile recyclers in the world, repurposing more than 650 million pounds of goods each year. Plus, our stores provide consumers with affordable clothing and household goods that may otherwise be imported, ultimately supplying our neighbors with more resources for less. Reuse like this is not only environmentally friendly, but it also benefits our local economy. We go through everything that is donated and give the best merchandise the opportunity to be purchased in our stores. If it doesn’t sell, it is sent to be turned into recycled material like mixed rags and insulation or to fuel small businesses in developing countries so they can build marketplaces in their own towns. We want to give every item the chance to be useful again. What is your biggest “green” pet peeve? We always encourage people to not “self-select” their donations. By that we mean someone looking a shirt or pants they no longer need in their closet and assuming no one would want to buy it, so instead of donating it they throw it away. Part of our mission is to keep goods out of landfills and when people donate their goods rather than throwing them away, we can do exactly that. That’s because if something was donated that cannot be sold, we have alternative uses for it like turning them into recycled materials like insulation or rags. What green trend is most exciting to you or your industry? We’re so excited that more people are looking for ways to make their lives more sustainable. This includes lots of things, like an increased interest in recycling, donating items they no longer need or shopping for used rather than purchasing something new. The more attention we can shine on the issue of overflowing landfills and the need to recycle textiles and goods, the better. Ultimately, this will lead to a better world for all of us.

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