It’s the New Year, 2019, and that presents us with a great time to go over some of the basics of what we do here at Bank & Vogue. In this article we’ll define some of the terms you’ll often see and hear bandied about in our industry, and talk a little about the state of the second-hand goods industry and how Bank & Vogue is making a difference in the Circular Economy of fashion and textiles.
Credential clothing is essentially the term for clothing that is original, unsorted and unopened. It can be collected from individuals via recycling bins, home pickup. This often comes through charitable organizations such as The Salvation Army, Goodwill, etc.; and can also come from for-profit companies. What makes an item credential, however, is that it is usually unopened and untouched, still packaged in its original plastic or other packaging. This is preferable as it will garner more interest and a greater price on the market. Bank & Vogue is both a buyer and supplier of wholesale credential clothing.
Mixed rags are used clothing and other goods that move from consumer to bin to thrift store. But what happens to items that don’t (or cannot) sell at the thrift store? Traditionally, a large amount ended up as waste, buried in landfall or disposed of in other non-sustainable ways. Instead of contributing to this waste, Bank & Vogue facilitates the purchase of mixed rags. Thrift stores and other retailers win as they get rid of excess items and make some money in the process. Our customers across five continents then buy these mixed rags in 1000-pound bales, as wholesalers, retailers and graders. These goods and fabrics find a new home rather than ending up in landfill.
Crisis of Stuff
This entire process helps alleviate what we’ve come to call the “Crisis of Stuff,” a term coined by our founder, Steven Bethell. Sadly as a society, we’ve come to assume and even rely upon a disposable nature of things. We buy, barely use, throw away and buy more. It’s a vicious circle, an unsustainable one that takes its toll on the planet and on society by creating huge amounts of waste. Sending items to landfill only kicks the can down the road, forcing future generations to deal with the problem. Instead, Bank & Vogue are strong proponents of fighting this crisis through a “Circular Economy.”
A circular economy is one which departs from the “Make, Use, Discard” model, instead basing itself upon the sustainable dynamics of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” Rather than be a bane on society, this form of business brings positive benefits, discouraging the over-consumption of finite resources and aiming to make waste a thing of the past. In fashion, a circular economy means recycling fabrics and finding new homes for used clothing.
Bank & Vogue is proud to be a part of the circular economy in the very essence of our mission and operations. We’ve partnered with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to join the “Make Fashion Circular” initiative. Stay tuned for our next post to find out why we’re so excited about this! If you have any questions or comments, or are looking to buy or sell credential clothing or mixed rags, contact us today to find out how Bank & Vogue can help.