Clothing is not disposable. But recycling systems are broken. Here’s what we can do about it.

allison vicenzi
Oct 23 · 3 min read

Why are we doing this?

Did you know the fashion industry is one of the most polluting? The rise of non-renewable resources to produce cheaper apparel fabric, combined with the rise in “fast” fashion consumption, has created a devastating toll on our planet’s natural systems.

Source: Pinterest

Most women’s clothing items are discarded after an average of 7 wears. Reselling options abound these days, but remain difficult to adopt or are simply not priority for most consumers (i.e. their time investment is not worth the potential payout). Donation is a frequent “next step” for unwanted goods, but our research unveiled a disappointing 80–90% of donations still end up down-cycled or in a landfill, not before going through several rounds of middlemen — wasting precious energy, time, and resources along the way.

What is a viable long-term solution?

“Closing the loop” means the manufacturer (that’s us) takes responsibility for the end of life of all garments they produce. Customers (that’s you) simply return unwanted items when the time comes for reselling or recycling. As an incentive in the future, we will offer a percentage of your original purchase price in the form of account credit (up to $150). In this way, quality clothing can be seen as something that holds value, like a currency, rather than a consumable or disposable commodity slated for a landfill.

We cannot officially start to close the loop until we have “currency in the system” and begin accepting buyback returns (6 months after your delivery date). However, we are impatient and we think you deserve an early reward for joining us on this journey. To kickstart implementation of the VICENZI Closed-Loop Active Wardrobe System, we are offering $50 off Blazer Nº1 orders in exchange for a donation of 2–3+ items from any brand, to any legitimate donation center or individual in your local community. Reselling your things online or in a shop will also earn $50 credit.

How to redeem

Input discount code at checkout: CLOSETHELOOP (all caps)

As an upstart with limited bandwidth, we are relying on the honor system for this discount. Simply email donate@vicenzi.co with 1) photo(s) of the items donated and 2) name(s) of the receiving organization or individual(s). You may also share your experience on social media and tag #closetheloop and @vicenzi.design. A quick mobile phone snap will do! (Note: this process does NOT have to be completed by the time of order. We merely want to help fire up a Fall/Winter clear-out if you have goods to pass up and pass forward.)

Why $50? Allow Allison to explain.

I tried nearly every resale and consignment option (online and offline) in the past year with my own pre-loved garments. Some still had the tags on! I never made over $50 for a bag of clothes and accessories. Most times, I didn’t even come close (looking at you, Beacon’s Closet!) yet was still happy to donate the unwanted garb instead of defeatedly lugging a trash bag back home. It made me wonder, what if we came up with a system where people felt motivated to clear out closets, to find a new owner for unwanted stuff, to understand what happens next in the process? In an ideal world, robots will come pick up your bag for you. For now, I’m asking you let us know what you do next with your pre-loved stuff and I’ll give reward credits as a thank you for supporting the experiment.


Originally published at vicenzi.co in October 2017. Offer still stands! Let’s #keepthingsmoving.

raw material

an experiment in sharing what happens when you narrow in on an idea to start something that matters.

allison vicenzi

Written by

on mission to create more, consume less. hate to waste + like to make things. currently: women's blazer brand w/ circular business model. Year 4 of #NoNewStuff

raw material

an experiment in sharing what happens when you narrow in on an idea to start something that matters.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade