Most of the world is living in a consumer society at the moment. Don’t get us wrong, it has its upside – we’ve built a global economy that keeps growing and improving the lives of the average person.
Still, this fast-paced consumer society produces more goods than we can use to the fullest. And that means more waste. Our mission is to help curb that waste. In this article we’ll talk about mixed rags and used clothing, and how we’re doing our part to create a Circular Economy that’s aimed to reduce waste and create a sustainable future.
The Excess of the Global Textile Economy
Most of us no longer buy clothes and shoes with the intention of long-term use. Each year we buy new clothes that replace- in most cases – perfectly functional clothing items from last season.
This doesn’t just mean that we are clogging our wardrobes with stuff we are not using, but also that we’re creating more and more textile waste. This is just clothing, but there is also shoes, sheets, curtains, and much more.
The global textile economy is currently worth around $1 trillion. This includes the garment industry but also household items, furniture, and other related industries. Globally we create around 80 billion items of clothing every year. The problem is that this pace creates somewhere around 16 million tons of textile municipal waste in the US alone.
These are tremendous amounts of waste that are burdening the general public; sadly, we usually don’t make responsible decisions with it.
The Conundrum & Solution of Used Clothing and Mixed Rags
Let’s assume that you go through your wardrobe once a year to clear out the items you don’t need and create space for new clothing. You usually end up with a bunch of stuff you are tempted to just dump in the garbage. Please don’t! Destroying reusable textiles is a huge waste – a drain on our resources and a penalty that future generations will pay for.
Still, this kind of textile excess created by consumers can be eliminated in a much more humane and charitable way. Thrift stores will resell used stuff at much lower prices, allowing those that are in need to get functional clothing without having to spend a lot. You can donate clothes to charity – there’s probably a donation bin within a short distance of where you’re reading this article!
Even if the textile waste we come up with has defects and would actually be more correctly categorized as ‘mixed rags’ than used clothing, there is still a better way of getting rid of it than simply throwing it away. Mixed rags bring new life and new purpose to old clothing that otherwise would have ended up in landfill.
The United States exports a tremendous amount of mixed rags every year. These used textiles end up getting reused or put back into circulation. There are a lot of industries that can make use of textile that can’t be used as clothing items. At bBnk & Vogue, we’re proud to be in one of those industries!
How Bank & Vogue Plays a Role
Easy solutions when it comes to waste are usually a bad idea in the grand scheme of things. Textile waste, even more so, as it can be re-used in 99% of cases and it pays to do a bit of research and take a bit of time to get rid of excess textile you own in a more productive way.
All it takes is a bit of patience and, trust us, it will be far more satisfying than just jamming it all in a dumpster.
Contact us today to find out more, or to talk to us about buying, selling or facilitating the global logistics of mixed rags.