Article Originally Published At Born Activist.
For over 12 years now the skilled team of designers and buyers at Dust Factory Vintage Clothing Wholesale has been processing thousands of pounds of clothing a day in attempt to recycle the clothing before it hits the landfills. Each piece that can be used in a vintage retail outlet is sent their wholesale division, pieces that are damaged or stained are sent to the re-construction division and items that are modern or too contemporary for the vintage market are sent to charities.
“The formula took a while to put together, but after a few years of supplying retail stores it all started to come together.” said John Charles, one of the founding members of Dust Factory.
It all started out with a vintage clothing store for the creative team at Dust Factory. Nearly fifteen years ago they opened their first retail store in Dallas, Texas. After studying the market and coming up with a retail formula that worked almost right from the get go, the next obstacle that they had was finding enough product to meet their growing customer demand. At the time there was a small vintage clothing wholesale warehouse in Atlanta, Georgia that was supplying their own chain of retail stores along with a handful of other vintage clothing shops. With a keen understanding of trending products and passion for recycling, Dust Factory purchased the small wholesale vintage clothing company in Atlanta and began developing a plan to wholesale vintage clothing to the far reaches of the world.
“The move from vintage retail to vintage clothing wholesale wasn’t easy, hell, It still isn’t easy, you have so many factors that are uncontrollable that if you don’t have passion for what you are doing you might as well shut the doors and think of something else to do” said John Charles when asked if they were still as passionate about recycling clothing as when they started.
“The buyers and graders have their own set of obstacles, sometimes they can process a hundred pounds of t-shirts and they are lucky to use 60% of them, other times they process a thousand pounds and can only use 20%. There is no telling, it’s not like calling your manufacturer rep in China and saying, double the production on item blah blah blah… We have realy strict criteria that each piece needs to meet as far as quality and style before it makes our grade. Many of our accounts understand how the used clothing industry works and do very well with out vintage mixes, but the more you grow, the more accounts you open, the more accounts you open the more you open yourself up to buyers who have no clue what they are doing.”
Dust Factory produces quality wholesale vintage clothing grades for bulk buyers offering them the convenience of ordering vintage products similar to that of a contemporary brand. Over the years Dust Factory has perfected buying options making it easy for buyers to cater orders to meet their specific needs. As the company continues to grow and takes on new accounts in different markets they often expose themselves to some buyers that attempt to take advantage of their company and service.
“Every brand and company for that matter has to deal with these type of customers,” said Sandy Johnson, one of the International sales rep’s with over 15 years experience in the fashion industry “Imagine selling products sight unseen, you know that the grades are great, your existing customers know that the grades are great but Suzy Q. over here that has no idea how the industry or marketing works thought that she should get a whole batch of 1970’s ACDC and Led Zepplin concert tee’s, I wish it was that easy. If a vintage item sell’s for over $100 on ebay it is most likely rare, when we get them they go straight to our mixes, but we don’t get them in all the time…nor should we if it is rare. Suzy Q. probably needs to call a target vendor not a vintage wholesaler. What is interesting about Dust Factory is they don’t advertise these items nor did they develop a business around the them. They knew that there was larger market for the urban vintage style as opposed to the trendy this opened the door to ‘save more clothing‘ as JC puts it, something they learned in their retail days. When it comes to selling vintage clothing wholesale, what might be common sense to some buyers was a get rich quick scam gone bad for another. This makes all the time recycling, grading, cleaning, repairing, sizing, itemizing, shipping and consulting a lot of work for each piece, much much more work than a $1.00 t-shirt with a logo on it made at sweat shop in South America, without a passion for what we are doing none of us would be here.”
Never before has such a passionate and eco-conscience team of designers and buyers worked together with the same goal in mind to educate people about recycling clothing and provide a way for people to open a sustainable business in their communities. If you would like to find out more about wholesale vintage clothing check out Dust Factory Vintage.
Milo – Born Activist “The Passion Behind Wholesale Vintage Clothing” October 31,2011