Future of Sustainability in the Fashion Industry
About two years ago, the sustainable fashion industry was quite niched. However, everything has changed today with the growing demand for ethical and sustainable fashion. According to a fashionista, ‘Things have changed rapidly in a very short span of two, to two and a half years.’
The idea of reused material or second hand is now gaining acceptance and Vintage clothing suppliers have come to the forefront today. We have now almost entered the age when wearing a second hand is socially acceptable as well as fashionable.
Sustainability in LA and Beyond
Los Angeles is a fashion hub. The city is considered to be the alternative fashion capital that impacts fashion trends across the world. It has always attracted creative and independent-thinking people.
The Los Angeles Fashion Scene clearly indicates that sustainability has come to stay. The city values sustainable thought and is leading the way to durable fashion to attract vintage clothing suppliers. Independent vintage clothing suppliers are increasing here more than ever before with designs that have diverse colors and patterns. The city may have mixed fashion pulses, but when you add the presence of vintage clothing suppliers, you may feel sustainability is booming here.
Zooming out of LA, the fact that multinational companies are now talking about sustainability and making necessary changes in their philosophy of clothing shows a change in the attitude of people.
Large retailers, including vintage clothing suppliers, are now making changes in their production processes. The sustainability trend is beginning to become the on-trend in the fashion industry.
To answer why there’s been a shift in production and consumption practices in the fashion industry, let us take a look at our environmental crisis.
The Environmental Crisis
Despite numerous challenges, the fashion industry is expecting huge growth in the coming years. Analysts are predicting positive growth in the fashion sector this year. From the aspect of employment generation, the fashion industry is a true champion providing 500 million jobs. But, this billion-dollar industry is also responsible for practices that are damaging to the environment.
Globally, the effects of climate change are quite visible in our daily lives. Irregular seasonal variations and climate mishaps are putting millions of people at risk. A sustainable lifestyle and efficient industrial processes are the need of the hour. The fashion industry is a vibrant sector with a significant contribution to the global economy. However, the fashion sector is also resource-intensive and polluting. The process of textile production is energy-intensive with high water consumption. Similarly, with changing fashion trends, consumers are discarding their clothes way before their lifespan. These used clothes end up in landfills creating environmental issues.
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 takes 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.
The good news is that with the advent of circular fashion, more companies are incorporating sustainability principles in textile production. Similarly, the concept of responsible consumption is driving customers to buy sustainable products. At this juncture, recycled vintage fashion is gaining popularity among consumers.
The Role of ‘Mixed Rags’ in Recycled Fashion
Most of the 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 bale called “mixed rags.” Mixed rags are a part of a circular economy and are also called 'institutional' clothing.
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 a 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. This helps in extending the lifespan of the fabric and avoids unnecessary wastage.
Use of Mixed rags in Other Industries
How many pairs of jeans find their way into the trash every year? 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.
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.
Benefits of Recycled Fashion
Recycled fashion is becoming a hot trend among fashion designers all over the world. Beyond sustainability, designers see it as an arena for unleashing creativity. The shift to recycled fashion is a major step towards sustainability.
Still, the availability of such garments is limited. Fashion aficionados are crazy about exploring numerous shops and vintage warehouses for such clothes. In a way, some people find happiness in hunting down these rare pieces. Earning the tag of conscious consumers is an adventure in itself. Check out some interesting reasons for embracing recycled fashion.
The fashion industry is all about following new trends. Clothes made of recycled materials are in high demand now. All the major brands in the textile industry have a separate collection of recycled clothes. Similarly, fashion designers are also promoting sustainable fabrics through their fashion events. For conscious consumers, being a part of this circular fashion trend makes them stand out from the crowd.
The latest fashion trends always come at a higher cost. Due to this, recycled garments are always affordable for consumers since it brings down the raw material cost. In the case of recycled fashion, companies operating vintage warehouses provide a bulk quantity of second-hand materials. This brings down the cost of procurement for resellers. As a result, they can provide consumers with quality products at extremely low prices. Additionally, the mixed rags market leads to significant savings as these items are purchased at a fraction of the price compared to online or brick-and-mortar shopping.
The rise of the conscious customer is the major driving factor for the thriving recycled fashion industry. More consumers are adopting an environmentally friendly lifestyle and view recycled fashion as responsible shopping. Major brands are also capitalizing on this trend for expanding their fashion offerings. The concept of circular fashion fits well with the consumption philosophy of these consumer segments.
Recycling is a significant step towards achieving sustainability in the textile industry. For vintage fashion brands, this helps in reducing their carbon footprints. By redirecting the mixed rags, renewing some, and exporting the rest, you’re keeping it out of landfills. As a sustainability practice, it helps companies to comply with environmental laws. It optimizes the use of fabric till its complete lifespan. While using recycled material, the textile industry can minimize water consumption to a great extent. This has a positive effect on our environment.
A vintage wholesale company like LA Vintage Wholesale actually strikes a happy balance between protecting the environment and providing customers with maximum savings.
The Role of Wholesale Vintage Companies
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.
The newest fashion trend is not a seasonal color or a must-have style: It is the concept of ethical clothing and sustainability. Sustainability may spread across on a wider level, which could be a visible trend in high streets in the future.
Soon, recycled clothing brands are going to be mainstream. With stricter environmental laws, companies need to adopt sustainable fashion processes for better compliance. However, the changing consumer perception would be the biggest driving factor for recycled fashion.
Most small retailers are facing challenges in bulk procurement of vintage clothes. Bulk suppliers dealing in recycled fashion is a boon for such retailers. LA Vintage, based in Los Angeles, is a family-owned business at the forefront of sustainability for nearly three decades. It’s a leader in the wholesale distribution of vintage clothes and accessories. With a huge vintage warehouse facility, it delivers high-quality recycled clothes to numerous resellers. The company has in-house expertise in sorting and recycling used clothes. If you are considering procuring recycled fashion products in bulk, check out LA Vintage's collection of vintage clothing and accessories today.Did you enjoy this article? Here are 10 More Reasons to Buy Vintage Clothing.