Mobile Tours: Tackling Textile Waste, LG Urges Consumers to Clean Out Their Closets

How LG’s Clothing Swap and Wash Center are Scrubbing Away Textile Waste

LG Second Life Tour 2021_Loading Donations into Washtower

An LG WashTower unit serves as the donation vessel where attendees can drop their goods while getting a feel for the appliance’s capabilities.

There’s a hidden skeleton in your closet: that pile of unwanted clothing. The average American generates 81 pounds of textile waste each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, so to help consumers reduce their fashion footprint, LG Electronics hit the road with a seven-city mobile tour. Launched on April 25 in Los Angeles, and making its way across the Southwest through May 9, the Second Life Tour represents the first leg of a multi-year initiative designed to inspire consumers to take “responsible action” through fabric care, donations and upcycling—all while underscoring how LG’s laundry solutions extend the life of a wardrobe.

The campaign was designed, in part, to meet a need for consumers. The pandemic has presented them with free time to clean out their closets, but hygiene concerns have resulted in the temporary shutdown of many donation centers. To solve for the pain point, LG is turning its tour footprints into clothing donation sites where consumers are encouraged to unload their used apparel. At the end of the tour, the brand will set up a wash center in Los Angeles equipped with LG washers, dryers and LG Styler steam closets, to clean, sanitize and sort clothing donations before handing them over to local organizations that will provide the items to families in need.

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Each activation includes a vignette where LG offers demos and education highlighting one of its new WashTower units, which use artificial intelligence to improve fabric care. Nearby, another WashTower unit serves as the donation vessel where attendees can drop their goods. Adding incentive, the brand invites donors to participate in an on-site clothing swap where they can exchange their unwanted items for rare vintage pieces curated and stocked by thrift chain Round Two.

“We like to make sure that when we are looking to raise awareness of something or highlight something, we’re very visual in that experience so that it’s as dynamic as it could possibly be,” says Josie Salazar, senior brand marketing lead for laundry at LG Electronics USA. “So there’ll be a lot of other interactive moments and photo op moments during this experience to make sure that, visually, we’re giving consumers opportunities to learn more about what we’re doing.”

But there’s more to unfold. LG is committed to collecting 10,000 pounds of donated clothing throughout the campaign, and has vowed to recycle 100 percent of items received. To ensure no scrap is left behind and to raise awareness of upcycling, the brand has teamed up with Nicole McLaughlin. The designer will take any unsalvageable contributions and upcycle them to create a limited-edition capsule collection that will be unveiled this fall, effectively guaranteeing that all donations are given a “second life.”

“We’re kind of taking a hybrid approach,” says Salazar. “So the tour kicks off with physical points of interaction, but we’re not just relying on that to raise awareness of the campaign. The idea for the rest of the year is to also have these other touchpoints that are going to be highly social and digital. I think making sure that we always have this hybrid approach to going to market in ways that are very complimentary to each other is ultimately what’s going to make the moments memorable.” Agency: Lupine, Los Angeles.


The Second Life Tour in action:

Kait Shea
Posted by Kait Shea

Kait joined EM in 2015 and today enjoys her role as senior editor, digital content. When she’s not in reporter mode, rocking mermaid pants at Comic-Con or running laps at MWC Barcelona, you can find her at home listening to music.
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