Mixed Rags: A Global Benefit for a Sustainable Environment
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American citizen produces up to 70 pounds of textile and clothing waste every year. The EPA estimates that more than 13.1 million tons of waste collected waste take up nearly 5% of valuable landfill space. This has led to a phenomenon called “crisis of stuff.” And to address the accumulation of clothing waste, the vintage wholesale company industry and credential clothing market have emerged. Yet, almost 3.8 billion pounds of textile waste was still collected last year. This is very disconcerting because our landfills are very expensive to maintain. In addition, space is limited. Perhaps a more serious concern is the effect that post-consumer textile waste or PCTW has on the environment.
One of the most important strategies we can adopt to handle this “crisis of stuff” is by mobilizing items in the mixed rags market.
What are Mixed Rags?
Mixed rags are a part of a circular economy. The majority of recycling is achieved through second-hand sales and donations. A bulk of these items are sent to thrift stores. However, what happens when thrift stores are left with clothing that won’t sell? These items are collected into a bag called “mixed rags.”
These leftover clothing items with imperfections are missing features, stains, rips, and tears, and fading. Some of these clothes are sorted out and resold as wholesale items for wear. But much of this lot is considered waste.What happens to this bag of mixed rags that no one wants to wear? It is bought in bulk by a vintage wholesale company like LA Vintage Wholesale.
Companies, like LA Vintage Wholesale, play a vital role in attaining sustainability in the mixed rag and textile industry. This niche works responsibly to minimize clothing waste from entering our landfills. Instead, this waste is redirected to wholesale clothing companies, who literally give old items a ‘new’ life. How?
These items are sent in bulk to the factory, where they are sorted. Some items are renewed and resold such as vintage clothing, shoes, shirts, accessories, etc. The rest is packed and exported to different third world countries. There the product is purchased and sold by various local entrepreneurs. They resell these goods to earn a living.
Benefits of Using Mixed Rags.
From an environmental standpoint, the benefits are obvious. By redirecting the mixed rags, and renewing some, and exporting the rest, you’re keeping it out of landfills. This has a positive effect on our environment. From a consumer's point of view, involving the mixed rags market leads to significant savings, especially monetary resources. These items are purchased at a fraction of the price compared to online or brick-and-mortar shopping.
A vintage wholesale company like LA Vintage Wholesale actually strikes a happy balance between protecting the environment and providing customers with maximum savings.
What’s the hype around mixed rags?
Mixed rags are also called 'institutional' clothing. Many of these materials are items that were not resold or aren't suitable for resale. Most of the time, they're labeled as flawed/damaged. They have many rips, stains and are worn, having missing buttons and broken zippers. However, what's interesting is mixed rags gain in value because of their pro-environmental and consumer benefits. Not only are they repurposed or recycled for other industries, including thrift stores and vintage clothing markets, but they're also kept out of our landfills.
Surprisingly, a bag of mixed rags can be easily repurposed for various industrial markets. For example, they can be transformed into wiping rags for the manufacturing, home improvement, and automotive industries. Sometimes, these mixed rags are cut into pieces of fiber to be used as decorative or building materials like chairs, carpet padding, couches, home insulation, and even blankets and tablets.
How many pairs of jeans find their way into the trash every year? But thanks to the mixed rag industry, used denim has found a new purpose. Home renovation and construction companies can now purchase vintage in bulk from a vintage wholesale company. The material is then recycled into the insulation. What’s more is that the final product, the insulation, is 100% recyclable.
At LA Vintage Wholesale, we pride ourselves on working with small and large thrift store shops, private consolidators and collectors, and even not-for-profit community-based collectors. We responsibly sort and bundle the items into large bales, getting them ready for the growing mixed rag industry. Aside from providing clients with mixed rags, LA Vintage Wholesale has decades of knowledge and expertise in this niche. We provide our clients with export quality bales of loose instead of mixed rags. Our team prioritizes every client with superior quality mixed rag items. We take great satisfaction that we’re doing everything we can to address this “crisis of stuff” challenge facing the environment.
If your organization needs a supply of mixed rags, get in touch with a wholesale vintage company today.