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Goodwill hosts textile circularity event for Finger Lakes

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  • Staff Report 

This month, Goodwill Industries International (GII) convened leaders from the U.S., Canada, and Finland in Rochester for a two-day summit focused on advancing textile circularity. The event featured 60 Goodwill leaders and key partners from the textile recycling ecosystem, including Accelerating Circularity, TOMRA, Sortile, and researchers from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Participants engaged in demonstrations of textile sorting, garment deconstruction, and recycling machinery. Local Goodwill organizations shared results from innovative recycling pilots, including a Walmart Foundation-funded project transforming unwearable donations into raw materials for textile recycling. This project, in collaboration with Accelerating Circularity, aims to establish regional hubs for sorting and preparing textiles for reuse.

“For over 120 years, Goodwill has championed textile reuse,” said Steve Preston, GII President and CEO. “Our ongoing efforts, supported by partners like the Walmart Foundation, aim to minimize waste and maximize value through recycling.” The summit underscored Goodwill’s commitment to sustainability, which continues with the inaugural Sustainability Summit in Washington, D.C., this August.