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BY: Jackie Northam | NPR
On a bright and warm Saturday morning, there’s a steady flow of people dropping off donations at Martha’s Table, a charity in downtown Washington, D.C. A mountain of plastic and paper bags stuffed with used dresses, scarves, skirts and footwear expands in one corner of the room. Volunteers sort and put clothes on hangers. They’ll go on sale next door, the proceeds of which will help the needy in the area.
It’s a scene played out across the U.S.: people donating their old clothes, whether through collection bins or through large charities, to help others.
Melissa Vanouse donates clothes a couple times a year.
“I think it all pretty much stays local, that’s kind of the idea,” she says.
But it doesn’t. Martha’s Table, like other charities, only has so much room and can only keep clothes for so long. At some point, charities call in a textile recycling company.
About 80 percent of the donations are carted away by textile recyclers, says Jackie King, the executive director of Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles, a trade association for textile recyclers. She says that means about 3.8 billion pounds of clothing that is donated each year is recycled.
“Thirty percent of the materials are made into wiping cloths that are used in commercial and industrial use,” she says.
About 20 percent of the donated clothes and textiles are converted into fibers that are then made into a variety of other products, including carpet padding, insulation for autos as well as homes, and pillow stuffing.
King says nearly half the donated clothes – about 45 percent – is exported.
A forklift shuttles large pallets stacked with bins of donated clothes at Mac Recycling on the outskirts of Baltimore. A large section of the warehouse is packed with colorful 800-pound bales of clothing ready to ship out.
Robert Goode, the owner of Mac Recycling, says textile recycling is a huge international industry. He says his small warehouse alone ships about 80 tons of clothes each week to buyers throughout the world, including Central America, South America, Asia, Africa and Europe.
“Pretty much you can pick any country and there’s a market for these items,” he says.
Goode says when the shipment arrives overseas, a wholesaler will break down the bales and send the clothes into different markets. At each step along the way in this process, someone makes money from the donated clothes.
“It is an extremely competitive business … items are bought and sold by the pound and you can literally make or lose a deal over half a cent a pound, quarter of a cent a pound,” Goode says.
He says the business has changed dramatically over the years. Customers in foreign markets are now setting up their own operations in the U.S., cutting out a middleman. King, SMART’s executive director, says textile recyclers are still finding strong demand for used clothing. But she says selling cheap garments, like those made in , is becoming increasingly difficult.
“I think one of the problems when they’re trying to sell the clothing abroad is the distinction between what’s good quality used clothing versus clothing that has maybe not been manufactured to the highest standards,” she says.
King says ultimately she hopes that more clothes — of good quality — are donated every year. Her organization, SMART, says 85 percent of all the clothing sold each year ends up in landfill. [...]
DUST FACTORY ONLINE VINTAGE CLOTHING WAREHOUSE IS OPEN FOR BUYERS AROUND THE WORLD TO ORDER MERCHANDISE FOR THEIR STORE WITH THE CLICK OF THEIR MOUSE
At Dust Factory we have been mastering the process of locating, sorting, grading and selling vintage apparel to shops for the past 10 years. We realize that so much of our product compliments contemporary style and that we already have the natural worn look and feel that so many designers have to work at reproducing.
Our team of collectors have selected specific groups of 100% vintage clothing to include in our new season. And through style, size and color breakdown, have constructed a familiar and convenient way for boutique buyers to select timeless vintage pieces with unique style and blending abilities.
The days of sifting through different attics or thrift stores for product are past us. We have now broke down the process even more with our online virtual shop. Designed as a fun, informative and easy way to order vintage clothing.
Online Wholesale Vintage Clothing Shop
Vintage clothing buyers from all around the world are ordering vintage clothing directly from their mobile devices and computers. Current customers can began placing their orders today, new customers can open an account and place orders as soon as their account is approved. Usually withing a few minutes.
Dashboard Products Page
Product Description Checkout
Ordering vintage clothing for your store has never been easier. With an easy to use interface buyers can order directly from the products catalog, or from the product description page.
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ORDERING VINTAGE WHOLESALE ONLINE
At Dust Factory we are always trying to make the buying process easier for the buyers, which in most cases are also the shop owners. That is why we have put some of our more common items that we carry season by season in our online warehouse. This way we can offer special deals to our current customers, as well as make ordering authentic vintage merchandise for their store as easy as possible.
Our online warehouse is reserved for Dust Factory Customers Only. Don’t worry it is easy to open an account.
Click Here If you would like to open an account with Dust Factory and have access to the Dust Factory Online Vintage Clothing Warehouse.
If you looking for a mix that is unavailable in our shop it does not mean that we do not carry it, please contact a sales representative at firstname.lastname@example.org to check on availability.
FOLLOW US to open an account!
LEVIS® VINTAGE CLOTHING is a vintage inspired collection that the famous denim brand LEVIS® has put out were they are bringing back to life some of their classic relics from the past.
Don’t be fooled these are not the actual vintage pieces – but what we call vintage inspired – or made to look like vintage. According to LVC they are:
“Faithfully capturing the spirit and heritage of American work wear, Levi’s® Vintage Clothing reproduces the fits, fabrics and details of bygone eras. Our source material is our own archive and our inspiration is the hardworking men and women that we have equipped for the last 140 years. Through our seasonal tribute collections, iconic reissues and special editions, we relive our treasured history and offer timeless products to discerning connoisseurs that are as obsessed with it as we are.”
I thought that it would be worth sharing some of the images from their Fall/Winter ’13 Lookbook becasue it is in an inspiring and stylish collection for those that are actually collecting the original vintage pieces. Not to mention it might be a collection worth looking into if you carry both new and used clothing in your boutique.
Each season, like an ongoing tradition the LVC team pays tribute company’s treasured history, timeless products and collections ( which includes items dating back as early as 1873), at the same time uncovering a few of their secrets of the past and recreating them for today through vintage inspired reproductions. This time the collection and lookbook brings up two iconic eras of American style: Detroit’s ’60s Motown musical revolution and the West Coast’s sunny ’70s style.
The first section of the lookbook brings you back to Detroit Motor City in the 60′s, the heart of America’s car industry at that time, illustrating the working week at the automotive factory added with some Motown vibes and smooth styling. There are elements of Soul and Jazz, Mod and Traditional – there’s turtleneck knitwear, wool polos buttoned all the way up, striped t-shirts, v-stitch sweatshirts and checkerboard rodeo shirts.
Levi’s Orange Tab
The second section of the lookbook dates back a more free-spirited, flower-child collection centered around the classic Orange Tab that was first produced in the late 1960s as a line of affordable, slim-fitting jeans, jackets and shirts designed for the Young American’s of the ’60s and ’70s. To this day, the Orange Tab is synonymous with simple and clean design as well as the free and easy spirit of the times. This part of the collection includes ’70s denim shirts in retro bright casts, baby blue chambrays and matte blacks, topped off with a selection of bold printed tees using faithful motifs and logos from the era.
A cool aspect of the collection is that it is also presented and available in hardback form copy, split into the two stories and complimented with additional material from the relevant eras. In the lookbook there’s also retro illustrated fit guides and a step-by-step guide of how to wash, wear and care for your rigids.
CHECK OUT LEVIS® VINTAGE CLOTHING
It is almost that time a year where many of us get to shed our clothes and soak in some rays down at the local water hole. This year 1970′s fashion is on the rise and I just can’t help but browse through some of favorite photos of 70′s swimwear. From European designer beach wear to southern California surf-wear, 1970′s swimwear had a a style and appeal all of its own.
There are certain keys to follow when dating vintage swimwear:
-Lastex began to be used in swimwear starting in the late 30′s and continued through the 50′s.
-Spandex, better known as elastane in Europe, began to be used in swimsuits in the late 60′s. Dupont patented this as Lycra.
-Fabric content on labels was mandated in the 1960′s
-Garment care instructions seen on labels beginning in 1971
-Symbols on care labels began in the 1990′s in the US, earlier elsewhere
Model Cheryl Tiegs at the beach in an orange bikini with white polka dots by Villager, with a man reclining on chaise — Image by © Condé Nast Archive/CORBIS
Famous Farrah Fawcett Poster on most adolescent boy’s walls in the 1970′s
Cheryl Tiegs swimsuit pose
Classic One-piece and Two piece swimsuit designs from the 70′s
Modern bathing suit with exact 1970′s glamor cut
Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime with a wig-wearin’ female friend, circa 1970s.
Surf Rats Hanging out at the beach
Christie Brinkley Sporting a colorful one piece
1970′s European Men’s Matching Swimwear
Mark Richards matching his board shorts with his surfboard
Larry Bertlemann pure classic style
Kids 19070′s beachwear
North shore 1970′s beach fashion
1970′s Venice Beach
MR Ripping the Bottom Turn