In the early fall 2018, a number of Ottawa-Gatineau residents were struck by tragedy following six devastating tornadoes that ripped through the capital region. Following the devastation, residents struggled to rebuild their lives as they awaited information from their insurance providers and the Red Cross stepped in to help tornado victims recover their losses. In instances like this, or other crisis moments in the international context, recycled materials are an absolute necessity when helping citizens get back on their feet.
This is where companies such as Bank & Vogue come in, as they can both assist victims by getting necessary items to them, such as clothing. They are also a good choice of seller for those who are interested in helping victims of crisis by recycling items that they no longer have use for. By contacting Bank & Vogue, or getting your items to the places that they collect them from, you would be doing the important work of getting necessary items to those in need.
“Credential clothing,” or “original clothing,” is traditionally collected in drop boxes which are placed throughout different communities — especially in middle to affluent neighbourhoods. In these areas, collection boxes are emptied regularly (in some places a minimum of once a week or more if need be), and those drivers whose job it is to collect these materials make sure that all of the items they collect are secured in weather proof materials ensuring there is no trash or wet items included in the packages. The contents collected from these bags might contain: vintage and highly sought after items, jewelry and other accessories such as hats, belts and scarves, shoes (both leisure/informal and formal), carrying items such as purses, backpacks and wallets, hats, materials for children such as toys and stuffed animals, and household linens.
But these materials are not only donated items. Rather, in order for items to qualify as credential they must be unsorted, untouched, not graded in terms of their quality, in the exact condition and bags in which the material was first deposited. Graders prefer items that have not been removed from bags and packaging simply because this means that the distributor would not have the opportunity to pick out the items they deem valuable themselves. It is generally the case that credential clothing gets a higher price at market than graded used clothing because of the packaging.
Following collection, credential items are processed and recycled, and graders determine which items constitute top-grade credential materials. The hope among those doing the collecting and selling is that they are dealing with items that have a higher quality and grade. As expected, graders are experts in locating, sorting and selecting items of higher grade value such as shoes and valuable vintage items, and then selling them individually at a higher price.
There are a number of institutions responsible for facilitating the collection and sale of credential clothing – most successful of which is Bank & Vogue. As a key seller of credential clothing materials Bank & Vogue buys these items and facilitates the purchase (through supply) of wholesale credential clothing from charities and for-profit collectors across North America.
They begin by collecting materials from their sellers who serve as the first entry point to collection. To begin this process, Bank & Vogue’s sellers might pick up materials via home pick-up routes, by accessing public bins located in neighbourhood drop off locations, or picking up materials at in-store drop-offs and donation stations. This is particularly key for those who are interested in helping provide aid in relief efforts following natural disasters such as the tornadoes in Ottawa. In the midst of this kind of devastation, regular citizens can turn over their materials to the suggested drop off locations and Bank & Vogue can follow up in the remainder of the process.
Depending on the seller and the location, Bank & Vogue can also send a truck to pick up any loose or baled credential clothing and bring them back to the customer’s facility. Once items arrive at Bank & Vogue’s customer facilities, the customer’s employees then begin sorting credential materials and putting it for sale in the store. While the product is unsorted, workers are conscious to look for and eliminate any hard items or lotions that can damage the clothing from the bags. Other items such as shoes, purses, and belts remain with the load.
At Bank & Vogue, we are experts in credential clothing items and have a well-known reputation for sourcing hundreds of thousands of pounds of high-grade credential clothing annually. We are responsible for processing it and sending it for export or redistribution domestically as well as internationally. In order to ship the materials, we typically arrange full 53-foot trailer loads for the domestic market and 40-foot high-cube ocean containers for export. The weights for these containers vary depending on the packaging and loading needs. It is typically the case that loose credential clothing has a minimum weight of 25,000 – 30,000 pounds. Alternatively, baled credential clothing has a minimum target weight of 40,000 pounds.
As clients might imagine, as a result of supplying and facilitating the sales of bulk used clothing, Bank & Vogue is very familiar with both sides of the business – that is, buying and selling credential materials. Due to this familiarity, Bank & Vogue has also amassed experience in the logistics that are involved and required in order to move these goods across North America and through worldwide markets. And so, not only can Bank & Vogue respond to domestic markets and instances of domestic crisis (as in the case of natural disasters in Ottawa), but it is a seller that is well equipped to respond to international crisis moments as well.