Circularity and Waste

Image of recyclable Gap Inc. polymailer bag

Creating truly sustainable fashion means addressing the full life cycle of our garments, from raw materials to end-of-life—and back again. In addition to investing in circularity, we have a strategy to reduce, recycle and eliminate packaging waste.



By 2025/2030

Eliminate unnecessary or problematic plastics in packaging to consumers by 2025 and in packaging to businesses by 2030, in line with our Fashion Pact commitments*


47% of unnecessary or problematic plastics in packaging to consumers has been eliminated and replaced with paper or other reusable alternative, including brands’ progress in transitioning shopping bags.

By 2025/2030

Ensure at least half of all plastic packaging is 100% recycled content, for packaging to consumers by 2025, and in packaging to businesses by 2030, in line with our Fashion Pact commitments 


80% of all plastic packaging to consumers is made with 100% recycled content – achieving the 2025 target.

For packaging within our business, we are increasing our tracking capabilities and diversion projects as we progress toward 2030.

*Unnecessary and problematic is defined according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as: (1) Not reusable, not recyclable or not compostable is considered problematic, (2) Contains hazardous chemicals that pose risk to human/env health, (3) Can be avoided while maintaining utility, (4) Hinders or disrupts recyclability or compostability of other items, (5) High likelihood of being littered 

Our Approach to Circularity

Our work on circularity is organized into four pillars:

  1. Design for Circularity: We give our product design teams the tools to make choices that can positively impact product longevity, reusability and recyclability (read about we source more sustainable raw materials).
  2. Materials and Manufacturing: We are increasing our use of safe, renewable and recycled materials, and supporting innovation in circular manufacturing.
  3. Advanced Resource Recovery: We are supporting systems for collecting, sorting and recycling worn textiles into new materials for the fashion industry. 
  4. Circular Business Models: We are working to decouple profits from the use of natural resources, resulting in new value propositions for the customer.

    Through our partnership with thredUP, we engage customers in reselling used or gently worn clothes, donating clothes to charity and recycling plastic e-commerce mailers from online orders. We also communicate with our customers about our product sustainability and circularity efforts through store displays, product descriptions, product labeling and social media. We engage employees and customers through educational campaigns for Earth Day and World Water Day.

Our Approach to Packaging Waste and Plastics

We have a responsibility to help prevent and properly care for global waste—particularly unnecessary and problematic plastics—which impacts the environment and adds unnecessary costs to our business.

We prioritize addressing plastic waste in the critical areas: hangers, polybags, shopping bags and e-commerce mailers. Our cross-functional task force is working to find solutions for these high-impact categories, and we also invest in innovative packaging design, product labeling and recycling programs.

We continue to test solutions that take into account the fact that only a handful of U.S. municipalities can recycle soft plastics. These solutions include better communication with store employees about recycling opportunities at their location, creating in-store marketing materials and working with vendors to reduce the size of polybags shipped to stores.

Sustainability Impacts and Opportunities Across the Product Life Cycle

We perform life cycle assessments (LCAs) to understand environmental impacts across product life cycles—from design, to sourcing, to manufacturing, all the way to a customer’s closet. We use these to evaluate indicators such as product carbon emissions, chemicals, and water usage so that we can engage our supply chain, internal teams, and customers to help reduce the environmental impacts of our products at all stages.

Raw Materials

  • Water, energy, land use, pollution
  • Labor/working conditions
  • Fiber security
  • Fiber traceability


  • Clean water and water efficiency
  • Hazardous chemicals/preferred chemicals
  • Energy efficiency/renewables

Cut and Sew

  • Labor/working conditions
  • Material and sample waste


  • Waste, energy
  • Unnecessary and problematic plastics

Customer Use

  • Garment care
  • Repair/re-commerce


  • Textile waste
  • Circular economy
  • Garment collection/recycling