America’s Act


Our latest report shows that the second-hand clothes (SHC) sector is an environmental and economic powerhouse, reducing waste and promoting sustainability while also driving economic growth and job creation. Our research also shows that it is a sector that is widely backed by the American people who want to see greater public sector support and investment to further enhance its positive environmental and economic impact.

We therefore invite all interested individuals, organizations and trade associations to share our letter below to federal legislators and share it with their members.

Help us garner support by liking, sharing and reposting our call for action on social media channels.

To write to your local Representatives and Senators, simply input your address here and find the contact details for your local members to share the letter below.


Dear [Senator/Representative] [Last Name],

Re: Americas Trade and Investment Act – – S.3878

I am writing as a concerned constituent from [your location/State] to express my support for the second-hand clothing (SHC) sector and to urge your backing for the Americas Act that could boost this important industry.

Garson and Shaw’s recently released data shows that the labor-intensive second-hand clothes (SHC) industry is an environmental and economic powerhouse, reducing waste and promoting sustainability while also driving economic growth and job creation. They highlight that the average American adult has 6.2 items of clothing in their closets that they have never worn, that is an astonishing 1.6 billion items of new clothing languishing in closets across the country. If these items entered the SHC market and replaced new purchases, it would prevent 255,747 metric tons of waste going to landfill every year; 458,307 metric tons of clothes being incinerated every year; and save 174,136 metric tons of CO2 emissions from being released into the atmosphere, equivalent to driving 11,104 times around the Earth. 

The sector supports approximately 342,152 jobs in the US, with potential for further expansion. This compares favorably with US apparel manufacturing which employed just under 90,000 people directly at the start of 2024. The US SHC sector generated $25.6 billion in annual retail sales in 2023 potentially increasing to $75.5 billion by 2033, and created $2.5 billion in tax revenue in 2023, with the potential to increase to $8.8 billion by 2033. The US is a global leader in the export of used clothing and Latin America is its primary export market.

Given this, I urge you to support the Americas Act, which will facilitate the expansion of the SHC market by allowing for greater export opportunities of American used clothing to markets that desperately need them. This act is also vital for combating the influx of cheap and environmentally harmful fast fashion, predominantly from China, which poses a significant threat to both our local industries and global sustainability efforts. Our research shows that China currently dominates the global textile market, exporting $159 billion of apparel in 2023. If American clothing isn’t exported for reuse, then the gap will be filled by new, Chinese clothes, with all the drain on natural resources that this will create – and to no benefit to America. 

It’s time the US Government put America on the path to a green and sustainable future, while protecting and even creating US jobs. You can be at the forefront of this economic and climate recovery by backing this bill.

Garson and Shaw’s report highlighted the American people’s support for the SHC sector. Their nationwide survey found that:

  • 80% of U.S. consumers want wearable items to be reused, and over half (51%) agree these items should be given a second life abroad.
  • 71% believe the SHC market helps to reduce the carbon footprint.
  • 68% of respondents feel that government and political leaders should actively support the SHC sector.
  • 63% view investing in the SHC market as key to a sustainable future.
  • 62% think there should be more public education about the harms of fast fashion.
  • 59% see the SHC market as crucial for the U.S. economy.

These statistics highlight the American people’s recognition of the SHC market’s benefits and their desire for legislative action to support this industry. 

I also advocate for the advancement of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation that prioritizes reuse over recycling. Current policies often focus too heavily on recycling, which, while important, can be resource-intensive and less effective than reuse in terms of environmental impact.

As your constituent, I believe that your support for these issues is crucial. I look forward to your response and hope for your active support in making these legislative changes a reality.


[Your name]