Reuse Innovators

Take a look at these businesses pioneering a more sustainable future through different models of reuse...


Braiform, provides global retailers and clothing manufacturers with garment hangers and packaging for their merchandise. Each year, in conjunction with licensees, Braiform supplies close to three billion, re-uses more than one billion and recycles more than 200 million garment hangers. By re-using hangers retailers can reduce costs and improve efficiencies by extending the lifespan of a garment hanger beyond a single use. Braiform hangers are designed to be more durable and withstand multiple lifecycles. 

Hangers are retained in stores during the sales transaction, rather than dispatched with the customer.  They are then consolidated via reverse logistics within the retailer’s distribution centers, collected and transported to one of Braiform’s four Global Re-use Centers for processing. Returned hangers are re-packed and re-distributed; ready to be used again. This significantly curbs consumption rates of raw materials and reduces overall greenhouse gas emissions.

Retailers are increasingly using a supply chain approach to look for new ways of reducing carbon emissions, mitigating climate change whilst maintaining or driving profits. The growth of garment hanger re-use within the marketplace was a key driver for Braiform to change their operations strategy, relinquishing any owned molding production facilities and outsourcing the remaining virgin production to global partners.


Gorilla Bins delivers rugged, reusable plastic moving boxes directly to customers in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens.  Customers have two weeks to pack, move and unpack before the bins are collected (free of charge).  Besides eliminating piles of cardboard from the waste stream Gorilla Bins are convenient

Their integrated handles make them easy to lift and their rugged construction means no punctured side-walls and damage to your precious cargo!  After each move, the Gorilla Bins team collects, vacuums and cleans each bin before sending them back out again for the next move.


GO Box was founded by Laura Weiss, who saw a need to eliminate the problem of single-use take-out containers and developed a program that allows customers to opt for a reusable container when ordering food to go.  It is the first company of its kind anywhere in the United States. Since launching in 2011, GO Box customers have eliminated the use of over 100,000 disposable containers.

Customers sign up for an annual subscription to GO Box, which gives them access to sturdy, BPA-free, reusable containers from participating food vendors. A mobile app shows users the locations of participating vendors as well as drop sites to return containers after they have finished their meals. 

GO Box picks up the used containers, has them washed in a commercial kitchen, and returns them clean to vendors, all by bicycle. Washing space and services are generously provided by the Original Restaurant and Transition Projects

Through its Corporate Program, GO Box offers companies and buildings a way to reduce waste by providing a private drop site exclusively for the use of employees and/or tenants. There are currently over 30 Corporate Partners participating, including Jive Software, New Relic, and over a dozen office buildings.


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Every year, according the NYC Department of Sanitation, New Yorkers throw out 200,000 tons of clothing, towels, blankets, curtains, shoes, handbags, belts, and other textiles and apparel. Of course, this is not a problem limited to NYC.  

Vigga, a Danish startup is making a dent in this problem and serving as a model for how we can reduce waste by rethinking the way we access and use maternity and children's clothing...  

Customers receive a bundle of sustainable designer clothes, which are exchanged for larger sizes as the pregnant belly or child grows. The returned clothes are checked for flaws, treated and repackaged. To learn more check out their site at


The Gowanus E-Waste Warehouse is New York City’s only free, permanent e-waste drop-off facility. The warehouse accepts all varieties of consumer electronics, which are reused and recycled in an environmentally and socially responsible way. They are open 5 days/week for drop-offs, shopping at their ReUse Store, and by-appointment browsing of their one-of-a-kind Prop Library.

Any New York resident, small business, or non-profit organization can drop-off unwanted electronics at their permanent e-waste collection center (469 President Street Brooklyn, NY 11215). They try to give all the items they receive a chance at a second life and whether your equipment gets reused or recycled, they guarantee data security. 


Optoro is using innovative technology to solve a large, and growing, global problem. Every year, over 15% of inventory is returned or deemed excess, costing retailers $500 billion, and creating 4 billion pounds of waste nationwide. Optoro’s software platform helps retailers optimize the management of returned and excess inventory in a more efficient and cost-effective way, maximizing recovery value, enabling consumers to get great deals, and reducing environmental waste.

Working with some of the largest retailers in the US, Optoro’s software platform has enabled its clients to maximize recovery costs by 50 - 200%.  Founded in 2010, Optoro has been named one of the fastest growing companies in the US. Optoro has also received many awards and accolades, including CNBC’s Disruptor 50, EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year and the World Economic Forum’s Circular Economy Award.

Petit Pli – Clothes that grow with your child...

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Petit Pli, a London based start-up, is tackling part of the overconsumption in the fashion industry. Children grow through 7 sizes in their first 2 years on Earth and this equates to a lot of wasted clothing. Petit Pli’s versatile waterproof shells are pleated in such a way that they can grow bi-directionally to custom fit a large range of sizes (ie. 4 months to 3 years).

The concept of Petit Pli is built upon using materials resourcefully. As the garments grow up to 7 sizes, parents are buying one not seven different garments. This all amounts to a reduction in: material and energy waste at production, labor, transportation (CO2 emissions) and waste at end of life. Petit Pli also hopes to work on a psychological level, by instilling slow-fashion values in growing children and new parents who are both at a new stage of life where they are exposed and open to learning new habits. 

donateNYC helps New Yorkers give goods, find goods, and do good, with tools that make it easy to donate or find used goods.

By donating and reusing goods instead of discarding them, New Yorkers can greatly reduce waste, conserve energy and resources, save money, and help provide jobs and human services for New Yorkers in need. donateNYC is an essential part of NYC’s 0X30 initiative, helping New Yorkers reach the goal of sending zero waste to landfills by 2030.

donateNYC also provides vital support for New York City’s reuse community, helping nonprofit organizations and local reuse businesses increase and promote their reuse efforts.

Residents can use donateNYC to give or find second-hand goods; businesses and nonprofits can exchange used goods; and local reuse organizations can join the donateNYC Partnership.



The Renewal Workshop has vision to lead a Renewable Economy where resources are wisely used and apparel is continuously renewed in a way that supports community and planetary well-being. 

The apparel industry is a linear system - it makes new stuff and sells new stuff and when customers are done with that stuff or brands have too much of that stuff or the stuff is slightly damaged, there is nowhere for it to go. A jacket with a broken zipper is garbage, a shirt with a hole in it is garbage, pants missing a button are garbage. The Renewal Workshop was created to take the apparel industry from a linear system to a circular system - to develop industry-wide solutions that optimize the value of resources invested in apparel.  

Apparel brands that partner with The Renewal Workshop pay a Partnership fee to manage all of their unwanted apparel and textiles. The Renewal Workshop guarantees complete transparent management of that product so that nothing goes to landfill.  Renewed apparel is sold through their online marketplace and with brand partners receiving percentage of each sale.



Reefill is a network of tap water refill stations where members can fill their reusable bottles when they are on the go -- it is a convenient, cost-effective, eco-friendly alternative to bottled water.

Using the Reefill app, members locate the nearest station and fill their bottle with cold, filtered water in seconds. Monthly memberships cost $1.99, or the price of just one bottled water, and provide unlimited refills at any of our locations. 


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Squirrelz is a design material sharing app for creatives. You can take anything from the app and post your own leftover fabric, trimmings, offcuts and such for others to create with. Save money and the environment.


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Stuffstr is a public benefit corporation that reduces waste by dramatically increasing the use and reuse of the stuff we buy.  Stuffstr offers a unique mobile platform that automatically captures retail purchases; spurs increased engagement with each item; and streamlines repair, resale, donation, sharing, or recycling through leading third-party marketplaces and services. Stuffstr's global platform (a) brings people far greater value from everything they buy, (b) provides retailers and manufacturers with unprecedented post-sale product lifecycle data, and (c) drives environmental sustainability by stoking the reuse of unused items.
 is a web community for the globally local gifting of used items from one person to another. It's like a Craigslist for free stuff with a large dose of community and sharing thrown in.

Deron Beal founded The Freecycle Network while working with a small nonprofit organization, RISE, which provides recycling services to downtown businesses and transitional employment to Tucsonans in need. As the team recycled, rather than watching perfectly good items being thrown away, they found themselves calling or driving around to see if various local nonprofits could use them. Thinking there had to be an easier way, Beal set up the first Freecycle e-mail group in a way that permitted everyone in Tucson to give and to get. Freecycle was off and running.

The Freecycle concept has since spread to more than 110 countries, where there are thousands of local groups representing millions of of members -- people helping people and 'changing the world one gift at a time.' As a result, we are currently keeping over one thousand tons a day out of landfills! This amounts to fifteen times the height of Mt. Everest in the past year alone, when stacked in garbage trucks!By giving freely with no strings attached, members of The Freecycle Network help instill a sense of generosity of spirit as they strengthen local community ties and promote environmental sustainability and reuse. People from all walks of life have joined together to turn trash into treasure.




Since 2007, GrowNYC’s Stop ‘N’ Swap® community reuse events have provided a free opportunity for New Yorkers to find new homes for usable items they no longer need.  Participants simply bring portable, reusable items to give, and take items that they can put to good use.  No one is required to give anything in order to get something.  Leftover items are recycled or donated locally to the extent possible.  Stop ‘N’ Swap® helps residents reduce and reuse right where they live, helping to minimize their contribution to landfills and prevent the waste that comes from the production, packaging, and transportation required to get new things.

Since the program’s expansion in 2013, Stop ‘N’ Swaps have had over 38,000 attendees, more than 441,000 pounds of donations, and have diverted approximately 84% of reusable goods from the waste stream.”


Stay tuned for more!