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SMART Annual Convention postponed

Textiles recycling event to feature industry experts and “upcycled” fashion show

Bale of recovered used textiles for recycling

The Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles (SMART) Association's Annual Convention, originally scheduled for March 14-17, 2020 at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, Florida, was postponed due to concerns about COVID-19. 

Speakers this year will include TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky and Journalist/author Elizabeth Kline. 

Open only to current members of the association, the Annual Convention, themed "Putting it in Motion," will feature expert speakers, panel discussions and unique networking opportunities for professionals within the textile reuse and recycling industry.

The convention will address the topic of the circular economy, a system where products and services are traded in closed loops or "cycles." According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's 2016 publication, Trash to Treasure: Changing Waste Streams to Profit Streams, one of the most comprehensive ways to eliminate waste and increase profits in a business is to adopt a circular economy model, where products and services are designed to be refurbished and repaired throughout their lifecycle.

"The topic of circular economy has become a part of the vernacular of the reuse and recycling industry," says Jackie King, SMART's executive director. "Programming for our Annual Convention this year is designed to help our member companies understand the importance of the circular economy, and what they can do to adapt or evolve their businesses so they don't get left behind."

Tom Szaky, CEO of TerraCycle

The event features two keynote presentations. The first, entitled, "Loop: Solving for Disposability While Maintaining Its Virtues," will be presented by Tom Szaky, CEO of TerraCycle . TerraCycle is a waste management company known for its innovative approaches to eliminating waste. Operating across 21 countries, the company partners with leading consumer product companies and retailers to recycle products and packages, from dirty diapers to cigarette butts, that would otherwise be directed to a landfill or be incinerated. Szaky's presentation will educate attendees on the theories of waste management and present ideas on how businesses can do their part to eliminate it.

Elizabeth Cline, New York-based journalist, author and expert on consumer culture, fast fashion, textile waste and the sustainability of the clothing industry

The second keynote, "Conscious Consumers and the Rise of Resale Shopping," will be presented by Elizabeth Kline, a New York-based journalist, author and expert on consumer culture, fast fashion, textile waste and sustainability of the clothing industry. Her presentation, based on her new book, The Conscious Closet, will explore how secondhand is key to satisfying the conflicting demands of conscious consumers who want it all - sustainability, affordability and lots of choices. She will share her experience researching the global secondhand industry over the past three years, and her findings.

In addition to exceptional programming, SMART's Annual Convention will also feature an "upcycled" fashion show, where SMART member companies are invited to walk the runway, donning their finest ensembles made from any textile materials sourced from within their businesses.

The convention's platinum sponsors include Bank and Vogue Limited, Green Team Worldwide Environmental Group, International Trading Solutions, Mid West Textile Co, NPS Corporation, Star Wipers, Inc., TEXAID Textilverwertungs-AG, Whitehouse & Schapiro, LLC; gold sponsors Garson & Shaw, LLC and Tranzonic Companies; silver sponsors Canada Fortune Group, Trans-Americas Trading Co and Wipeco Industries; bronze sponsors J and K Textiles International Private Limited, Mednik Riverbend, SC Roseco SRL and Wipeco Inc.

To learn more about SMART and the work of its members - for-profit businesses in the textile reuse and recycling industry - visit For questions about the Annual Convention, or becoming a SMART member, contact Director of Meetings & Member Services, Heather Lester, CMP, at 443-640-1050 x112 or [email protected].

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