Buy Vintage: Responding to the Problem of Textile Waste

Nearly half of all North Americans, 46 percent to be specific, claim that they have “way too much stuff” in their closets. Whether your clothes are gathering dust in attics, in the back of your deep closets, or in a set of boxes, your clothes may no longer have use to you but there are many collectors of vintage materials ready and willing to give your item new life.

Vintage Clothing Lovers Around the World, Unite

Lovers of vintage items often seek out one-of-a-kind finds on the racks of second-hand stores where they are more than likely to find suitable and reusable garments that are clean, tear and stain free. With the growing desire for vintage items it is certainly the case that more people are willing to turn over their old garments — and therefore the clothing is in no short supply.

Those who are committed to the vintagemarket, are likely also aware of the cost effectiveness of vintage items and the benefits that garment recycling creates particularly in the case of environmental issues, uncovering potential solutions to the problem of textile waste, and trying to live an ecologically conscious lifestyle. It is often the case that as a result of making clothing items, hazardous waste is often produced as a by-product of dyeing textiles, finishing knit goods and finishing wool. By recycling and/or remaking vintage clothing into new clothes or other useful items, consumers are able to rescue garments and recycle them into completely new items without contributing to a plan of waste reduction.

Bank & Vogue and Beyond Retro

At Bank & Vogue we have tackled the problem of textile waste by creating a global online presence with our sister company, Beyond Retro. At Beyond Retro, we scour fashion runways, global street style, edgy editorials and our own team and customers to determine what’s next in fashion (which, as fashion often goes, is informed by yesterday’s closets). Our leading European vintage and retro clothing retailer works efficiently with great partners who understand the unique needs and challenges of finding just “the right” supply of vintage wear. We create our collections by scaling what the industry calls “raghouses” — we then go through mountains of secondhand clothes to find the vintage diamonds that match our trends. Our “pickers” then look at colour, size, fit, quality, and label to meet our buyers’ needs. And though we are in the business of finding, buying and selling vintage items, we are also data nerds who have developed specialty software intended to track the crucial fashion stats of each unique item that arrives at our East London HQ.

At Bank & Vogue we also facilitate bulk purchases from a variety of sellers: clothing graders, personal collectors, store liquidations, estate sales and deadstock items. While women’s items are generally available in plentiful supply, we typically find ourselves looking for more men’s vintage clothing that we can then turn over to our customers. Once we have collected our finds, we then process one shipping container per week. Our product experts then examine each box for quality control before hanging items for pricing. As you might imagine, all this care of vintage products ensures that we help get valuable old items into new hands that appreciate them.

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