Innovative and relevant solutions for the crisis of stuff

Rag News

Innovative and
relevant solutions
for the crisis of stuff

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January 2021

Bank & Vogue presents the Rag News, the hottest free source of news to keep you up-to-date on the global used goods industry.

Rag News: January 2021

Lockdowns and Closures around the world

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many economic closures that have impacted many nations and individuals around the globe. Currently, many countries have shut down their countries and reinstated stay at home orders in order to reduce the spread of the new COVID strain that emerged in the UK early this month. Countries around Asia, Europe, North America have closed their borders and urged residents to remain home. Although the lockdowns have not been affected as intensely as the initial lockdowns, they cause many economic disruptions that impact many industries in different ways. 

During the past couple months it has been observed that donations have increased steadily, unlike previous years where donations slow down during the later months of the year. This is due to the fact that people are spending more time at home and using some of their time cleaning out their closets; and overall spring cleaning has become a full year round activity now.  Many one point collectors were asking people to stop donating as donations were being provided faster than the collectors’ ability to process the donations. Furthermore, the processing procedure slowed down because of the restrictions in place on how many people can be in the warehouse at once. Many collectors were not able to remain open during these new lockdowns as they are not considered essential services. This causes an overflow of loose credential, which decreases the price and increases the price of baled  credential and mixed rags due to their limited supply. However, Bank & Vogue is able to leverage our network in order to sell the product on a regular basis, maximizing the revenue of the collector based on market conditions. 

The lockdowns don’t only affect the donations and processing procedures, but many thrift stores that continue to be shut down. In addition, those that remain open have experienced a significant decrease of foot traffic in their stores. A benefit of store closures is that it creates an increase in quality for the mixed rags. This is highly due to the fact that stock is not being sold as quickly on the sales floor, and good quality pieces are then being baled up and sold as mixed rags. Throughout the next few months it is expected that things will continue the way they are; however, as soon as the spring months come it is foreseeable that many of these factors will improve. Especially with the COVID-19 vaccine being distributed around the world this year. The vaccine will help people develop immunity to the virus, by introducing a less harmful part of the germ into a person’s body. The body’s immune system develops antibodies that fight that particular germ and keep the person from getting sick from it. The vaccine will allow industries and countries to open back up and begin to return back to a normalization of their societies. Lastly, restrictions within the industry will loosen up; allowing businesses to return to full capacity in warehouses and thrift stores, restoring businesses. 

The Goodwill Career Training

Think about a company looking to hire someone for a role, there are many factors that go into the decision process to hire the individual. Particularly, what makes an individual with similar experience stand out from other candidates? Depending on the role, the requirements look very different and expectations differ as well. One of the biggest and most important factors that impact an individual’s chances on getting an interview are the skills and experiences they possess. Goodwill has identified the importance of developing skills and learning new skills that adapt to the evolving job market. 

Goodwill was founded in 1902 by Reverend Edgar J. Helms in Boston, Massachusetts. He collected used clothing and household goods to sell in stores, while using the money for what he called “employment, training, and rehabilitation for people of limited employability; and a source of temporary assistance for individuals whose resources were depleted.” This vision remains the same, at a much larger scale. To date, Goodwill has stores in 50 states and Canada which employ about 140,000 people. Last year Goodwill estimates helping 1.5 million people “build competencies, earn jobs and advance in their careers.”

In December of 2020, Goodwill Industries received a significant donation of roughly $360 million by MacKenzie Scott. This donation will accelerate Goodwill’s efforts to equip people for digital careers. This  past  year,  COVID-19  destroyed  many  jobs  in  the hospitality and food sectors, which employed many Goodwill’s Workforce Development Program participants. The Workforce Development Program provides participants with a variety of services including resume writing, interview prep, job search and placement, job coaching, benefits analysis and work-site skills assessments. With the lack of job supply and high demand for jobs, it has become more difficult to equip individuals with the necessary skills to land and succeed in their jobs. This is why Goodwill is focusing on training their participants in digital skills such as writing emails, word processing, data analysis software and searching for information online. Goodwill raises most of its funds through its thrift stores. However, with the decline in sales because of COVID, the donations from MacKenzie Scott will make a huge impact for the non-profit organization and its participants.

Shifting into a Greener Year

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that life is defined by all the decisions and actions we take on a daily basis. Every decision we make has an impact on life and our world, no matter how big or small they may be. This is why it’s so important to make mindful decisions and be aware of the impact those decisions are having. There are many ways to change your lifestyle and mindset into a greener and more sustainable one that can make a positive impact on the world we live in. One of the most important actions to take is to remain educated and equipped on making better choices and what are the consequences they may cause. It does not matter how big or small  of  an  impact  your  decisions  make, it will be even more impactful the more educated and aware you are. In addition, the more you learn about a topic, the more understanding you’ll receive in order to make a more educated decision. As a result, it could lead to more environmentally conscious decisions from you or those in your circle of influence. 

It is relevant to know and understand that there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to sustainability as a whole. It takes time to shift your mindset and change your habits, which is why being patient and determined to make better choices plays a huge role in changing your mindset to a greener and more sustainable one. Sustainability is not perfect, there is no right  path to take on the journey and everyone’s journey will be different. Therefore making it a unique and special experience that helps people learn and be influenced by each other. There will be ways that work for you but may not work for someone else, since  it is based on your day to day activities and making changes to your daily lifestyle. This is why it is helpful to embrace the grey areas in sustainability and find ways to make your life sustainable that work with your lifestyle. 

This year, set a goal to make sustainable decisions, ones that work with your lifestyle and are achievable. Every little decision you make throughout the day, will have a major impact on the world by the end of 2021. It is all the little decision you make accumulated together, in addition to the people you influence that will make a big difference in the world. This year, commit to learning more and taking action to become better as an individual but as a human race. 

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