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Repairing and recycling for Guess, former gang members give new life to used clothing

While many clothing brands now offer in-store recycling options in a push towards circularity, Guess has added a layer of social impact by partnering with Homeboy Recycling.

After bringing in 5 or more clothing items by any brand, customers receive a 15% discount on their next purchase. The items are then sent to Los Angeles-based Homeboy Recycling for repair, upselling, upcycling and recycling.

Homeboy Recycling's primary focus has been on e-waste and refurbishing electronics, but the Guess partnership kicks off a new category of services in textiles and apparel. Homeboy Recycling is part of Homeboy Industries, 'the world's preeminent gang rehabilitation and re-entry program.' For every 100,000 pounds of waste collected, the organization creates one new job for a formerly incarcerated person.

For Guess — which was founded in Los Angeles in 1981 — the new initiative is an opportunity to give back to the community. LA has long been a hub for garment manufacturing, and in a pilot with Guess, Homeboy Recycling found that working with textiles aligned with its employees' skill sets. The program has been rolled out in Guess stores across the US.