When waste has value, it stops being waste
When something has negative value, there’s little incentive to deal with it. It gets left to randomness, or public resources and taxpayers to deal with - and to suffer the consequences. Fortunately used textiles do have utility and value, and this creates opportunity to divert textiles out of the waste stream, revive the product’s life, or reincarnate the raw materials.
Unlike most consumer waste, like plastics, paper, glass, or food, there are no publicly funded programs, or industry led extended producer responsibility initiatives, or recycling fees levied on the purchase of clothing and textiles. For profit enterprises like ours prevent or minimize textile waste. The debate of profit versus not for profit is a false debate, because no matter who handles used and donated clothing, all of it travels through commercial channels.
Investment, revenue, expense and profit drive textile waste markets. Revenue and profit are the financial resources that get the work done well, and crucially, deliver the funding to support charitable and community organizations. Our relationships with these groups are essential, interdependent partnerships.