Textile News




Dust Factory’s website has gone mobile

Vintage Wholesale Clothing

I am not going to say we were lazy for not taking our website mobile earlier, we just never did. Well, that is not actually the truth. We had our website redone over three times in the past five years, we just never tuned them live. For 15 years Google has been ranking our website well, helping us place on the first page for many of our organic searches. We were always concerned that we would lose those ranking after making the updates. Technically, you are not suppose to, if you follow the Google recommended protocol to updating a site. But I have seen it affect people over an over again for no real apparent reason. Since there is so much more competition out their today than there was seventeen years ago we decided to hold off on going live with any updates.

When we started to sale vintage clothing wholesale in 1999 there were no other players in the game, most of the sites today are recent withing the past five years and have taken a page out of a book we helped write. We built the first website for Dust Factory, which was then called the Clothing Warehouse, in 2000. Everything was very basic HTML and I remember being impressed to have a rotating slider. You could only view the website in one size, and to be honest, their was never any inkling that we would one day view it on our phones because it was still seven years before the iphone hit the market.

vintage flea market

It took a while for a community of vintage buyers to gather online, but eventually they did. At the time if you wanted to buy vintage you had to either source it from a thrift store or go to Pasadena, California once a month to see what was available. On the second Sunday of every month, antique and vintage clothing collectors would gather at the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena to sell their goods. We did the Rose Bowl for a couple of years but eventually moved on to build out our digital presence as more and more buyers started to search out products online.

We had already established our relationships with the Rag Houses and the vendors who processed used clothing in bulk, once we established our client pipeline we were able grow our collections and product line. In 2005 we updated our website from a custom HTML site to the second or third release of the new Open Source WordPress Platform. We had our site hosted on one server, but our blog was hosted on Blogger, WordPress gave us the opportunity to combine both our web content and blog content into one seamless platform. We have been fans ever since.

“The early years for Dust Factory were akin to a renegade sailor amiss on uncharted waters. Not only was Dust Factory exposing the thorn in the side of contemporary fashion, but  we changed minds regarding how people felt towards used clothing. To accomplish this we grew a deep web presence sharing any and all information we could about sustainable clothing and lifestyles.

Dust Factory was the first company to bring vintage wholesale clothing to the world wide web and continues to lead the fashion industry as a go-to-source for sustainable ethical fashion practices. With the release of the new mobile version of the website users can get up to date info on current grades, orders,  specials and events happening around the world of vintage clothing. As fashion continues to evolve, Dust Factory is their to help educate those about the history and culture behind the brands we love while promoting ethical fashion practices and tactics.

Contact Us to find out more about how Dust Factory can help you.

Rag & Bone “Textile Recycling 101”

The folks over at Waist Online have a detailed page with allot of useful information about Textile Recycling. They note that textile recycling originated in the Yorkshire Dales about 200 years ago. These days the ‘rag and bone’ men are textile reclamation businesses, which collect textiles for reuse (often abroad), and send material to the ‘wiping’ and ‘flocking’ industry and fibres to be reclaimed to make new garments. Textiles made from both natural and man-made fibres can be recycled.

Why Bother:

It is estimated that more than 1 million tons of textiles are thrown away every year, with most of this coming from household sources. Textiles make up about 3% by weight of a household bin. At least 50% of the textiles we throw away are recyclable, however, the proportion of textile wastes reused or recycled annually in the US is only around 20%.

Although the majority of textile waste originates from household sources, waste textiles also arise during yarn and fabric manufacture, garment-making processes and from the retail industry. These are termed post-industrial waste, as opposed to the post-consumer waste which goes to jumble sales and charity shops. Together they provide a vast potential for recovery and recycling.

 

Recovery and recycling provide both environmental and economic benefits. Textile recovery:

  • Reduces the need for landfill space. Textiles present particular problems in landfill as synthetic (man-made fibres) products will not decompose, while woollen garments do decompose and produce methane, which contributes to global warming.
  • Reduces pressure on virgin resources.
  • Aids the balance of payments as we import fewer materials for our needs.
  • Results in less pollution and energy savings, as fibers do not have to be transported from abroad.

Reclaiming fiber avoids many of the polluting and energy intensive processes needed to make textiles from virgin materials, including: –

  • Savings on energy consumption when processing, as items do not need to be re-dyed or scoured.
  • Less effluent, as unlike raw wool, it does not have to be thoroughly washed using large volumes of water.
  • Reduction of demand for dyes and fixing agents and the problems caused by their use and manufacture.

How, what and where of recycling textiles:

The majority of post-consumer textiles are currently collected by charities like The Salvation Army, Good Will and Chalk. Some charities, for example Good Will and The Salvation Army, sort collected material selling it on to merchants in the appropriate sectors.

Some postindustrial waste is recycled ‘in-house’, usually in the yarn and fabric manufacturing sector. The rest, aside from going to landfill or incineration, is sent to merchants.

Collection Method’s:

At present the consumer has the option of putting textiles in ‘clothes banks’, taking them to charity shops or having them picked up for a donation drive.

The Salvation Army is the largest operator of textile banks in the US. On average, each of these banks is estimated to collect about six tons of textiles per year. Combined with door-to-door collections, The Salvation Army’s textile recycling operations account for the processing of in excess of 17,000 tons of clothing a year. Clothes are given to the homeless, sold in charity shops or sold in developing countries in Africa, the Indian sub-continent and parts of Eastern Europe. Nearly 70% of items put into clothing banks are reused as clothes, and any un-wearable items are sold to merchants to be recycled and used as factory wiping cloths.

Processing and Outlets for Waste Textiles

All collected textiles are sorted and graded at a "Rag House" by highly skilled, experienced workers, who are able to recognize the large variety of fiber types resulting from the introduction of synthetics and blended fiber fabrics. Once sorted the items are sent to various destinations as outlined below:

Post industrial waste is often reprocessed in house. Clippings from garment manufacture are also used by fiber reclaimers to make into garments, felt and blankets.

Some selected items will be sold to the "Vintage Market" and reused by designers fashioning garments and bags from recovered items. Companies like Dust Factory Vintage grade the textiles even more to produce mixes that will sell in trendy Vintage Shops in te US, Japan and Europe, however this is a very small sector within the overall destinations of textiles. For more information on what happens with Vintage Clothing click here.

What You Can Do:

  • Take your used clothes to a textile bank. Contact the recycling officer in your local authority if there are no banks in your area and ask why; they may collect textiles through other means. Alternatively you can take used clothing to local charity shops.
  • Give old clothes/shoes/curtains/handbags etc. to jumble sales. Remember to tie shoes together: part of the 6% of textiles which is wastage for merchants are single shoes.
  • Buy second-hand clothes – you can often pick up unusual period pieces! If bought from a charity shop, it will also benefit a charity.
  • Buy things you are likely to wear a long time – a dedicated follower of fashion can also be a green one if items are chosen carefully.
  • Look for recycled content in the garments you buy. This should be on the label, though at present there is no conventional marking scheme and some companies do not always advertise the recycled content.
  • Buy cloth wipers instead of disposable paper products as the product can be used repeatedly.

Today is Earth Day – Now Make Something Happen

earth day 2015

Today is April 22 and we get to celebrate another Earth Day. For those of you that do not know, Earth Day is a day that was set aside to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment. Earth day was founded by a United States Senator as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970. The first Earth day was celebrated in the United States in 1970 but by 1990 Earth Day was being celebrated in over 141 Nations World Wide. Numerous communities today celebrate what they call ‘Earth Week,’ an entire week of activities focused on environmental issues.

At Dust Factory every day is earth day for us. We are thankful for our opportunity to be hands on in the recycling and re-purposing process of textiles and other common goods. It is estimated that over one million tons of textiles are thrown away every year in the United States alone. Because of this each month we attempt to save over 75k lbs of clothing from entering our landfills. This is only a small amount in comparison, but we understand that everything starts small. We are only able to do this through the help and support of those that we work with.

We have spent the past 15 years developing a green business as well as educating and supporting others who are interested in doing the same. It does not matter if you are professional mother or a student, each person can make a difference in their community or neighborhood.

The Following are five simple ways that you can make a difference this Earth Day with your clothing alone.

1. Hand-me-downs This may be easier for the younger readers, but you can give your unused clothes to your younger brother or sister. Moms call this Hand-Me-Downs. It is a very simple concept but very effective if used properly. If you don’t have a younger brother or sister, give your old clothes to a smaller  neighbor or cousin. See…very simple.

2. Resale Shop If you are the thrifty shopper or if you think that your are a trendy diva that doesn’t really know that many people possibly due to living in a new location or having a sour attitude, then why not take your old clothing  to the resale shop. Beware, there is a good chance that there might be a  chubster(1) behind the counter at the resale shop waiting to dish you out a piece of humble pie. This could bring some back down to the reality possibly realizing that their washed up style might not be so unique after all.  However, it is worth the chance to make some money on your old finds, and it shouldn’t stop you from moving on.
3. Donate Your Clothes After picking up whats left of your ego, and your entire collection of last seasons rags from the by  counter at the resale shop, the chubster behind the counter will tell you that if you want you can donate your clothing to their clothing bin, and they will see that it gets to a charity. Of coarse you will want nothing to do with them,but they do bring up a good point, you could donate your clothing… maybe just not to them. If you don’t care either way leave your clothing at the resale donation bin, or if you want, there are plenty of other local charities that you can drop your old clothes at. Many of them will even pick them up from your front porch if you take the 1 minute out of your day to call them. They will see that your clothing is getting re-used. Just google local charities in your area.
4. Local Clothing Swap If your hurting for cash , and you still cant get over the fact that the re-sale shop didn’t want a single item out of your collection, you could try a clothing swap. Most cities have volunteers that organize clothing swaps. You can find them by Google..ing “Local Clothing Swap” or checking your local Craigs List listings. A clothing swap is a gathering where a bunch of like-minded people bring their old clothing and trade out their old garments for others. If no one in your area is hosting a clothing swap then why not put together one for yourself. It can be done with neighbors and friends, or a through a church or local charity.
5. Repurpose Your Clothing Ok I may have lied, I said that I had five simple ways to recycle fashion and this last one may or may not be that simple. This will depend on how creative you are, and how good you are with a sewing machine. If you don’t know how to sew, it is worth learning , if you do know how to sew then this will be simple. Any dress can be turned into a top or skirt. Any t-shirt can be turned into a bathing suit or t-shirt for a kid. Any pants can be turned into shorts.  It is a simple concept, but so often over looked. Sometimes you don’t even have to know how to sew, you just need to be able to use a pair of scissors.

Now make it happen. Next time you go through your closet and clear out two pieces or five bag fulls of clothing think about these five options that you now have before  putting them into the trash.

Classic Vintage Wear & Tear

Retro Style Wear
Over the years Dust Factory developed a style that is synonymous with vintage wear and tear. The creative style captures the elegance and authenticity from the original wear on an item. The “used look” to the trained eye is a classic look, separating the item from its counterparts.

Some things just look better with Age

When it comes to particular fabrics or materials, some items just look better with age. Take denim and leather for example, years of wear and tear give these items an authentic look and comfortable fit. Contemporary designers are always trying to find new ways to make their denim jeans or jackets look like they are worn in. They add different washes, wholes, tears and  stretch marks in an attempt to make to items look “vintage”.

Read more

Classic Vintage Wear & Tear

Retro Style Wear
Over the years Dust Factory developed a style that is synonymous with vintage wear and tear. The creative style captures the elegance and authenticity from the original wear on an item. The “used look” to the trained eye is a classic look, separating the item from its counterparts.

Some things just look better with Age

When it comes to particular fabrics or materials, some items just look better with age. Take denim and leather for example, years of wear and tear give these items an authentic look and comfortable fit. Contemporary designers are always trying to find new ways to make their denim jeans or jackets look like they are worn in. They add different washes, wholes, tears and  stretch marks in an attempt to make to items look “vintage”.

Read more


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