Sunday, July 1, 2012

{TEXTILE RECYCLING} factory tour and lot purchase

Post round-trip ticket purchase to NYC, I discovered an amazing and customer-friendly company that recycles massive amounts of textiles and exports them around the world, right in New Jersey just 20 minutes out of the city. After a last minute discussion with the lovely Hannah, directress of the vintage department, we solidified an appointment for midweek during my NYC stay. Day of the appointment, Fred my friend and assistant of the day and I, caught a taxi to the Port Authority Bus Station in Manhattan where we got on the free employee bus for a ride out to the plant at 6:30 am.

Our 7am arrival in the office of Hannah, who collected vintage clothing tags for a display
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She allowed us to wander about the vintage department while the floor manager Hani set us up with the crates. The patterns that are created from the repetition of forms are vast by virtue of the massive amounts of material.
The vintage sorting area used boxes and boxes in about 5 block long aisles, often double stacked and labeled:
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Clearly anyone would be tempted, however my appointment was not for buying vintage:
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Giant containers
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Aisles of bales, each bale generally weighs about 100lbs. These are ready to be shipped.
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Thus commenced our sorting arena around 7:30. Hani and Hannah walked us to our sorting table somewhere in the middle of the factory, wheeled up two giant crates 6 feet tall, 6 feet wide, and 4 feet deep, one full one, one empty one, and a canvas lined cart to put the shirts we wanted in.
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The prospects of all these shirts was overwhelming. Our sorting system entailed that Fred slung the shirts between the full and the empty crates, placing the prospective shirts in the center bin, where I would take them out and lay them on the table in color piles, hand picking them further by textures.
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We spent the entire work day sorting and were able to obtain 227 lbs of tshirts that were paid and shipped to my studio at the Fortress the following week.
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Current toilings include research and purchase of three new industrial sewing machines so that processing these tshirts into upcycled dresses, shirts, skirts and shorts will be fun and fast! And you don't stop, and you don't quit!

xx, madam chino