According to McKinsey’s The State of Fashion 2022, “…17.5 cubic metres of textiles–the equivalent of one garbage truck–is either burned or sent to landfill every second.” The fashion industry has been a major contributor to pollution and widespread environmental impact. Climate change is an urgent issue, and there’s more that each and every company needs to do to realize more sustainable business practices. Armoire is committed to make additional strides toward eco-consciousness, and we’re proud of our sustainability initiatives to date. Today, on Earth Day, we’re celebrating some of our team’s work to divert clothing from landfill in hopes that other businesses might consider similar circular economy efforts.
Since the company’s founding in 2016, Armoire has been diverting retired inventory from landfill, originally donating to various nonprofit organizations and second hand shops. Landfill diversion is so important to Armoire that we hired a full-time employee to intentionally route inventory that has aged out of membership rotation. With a background in retail and secondhand buying at a high-end thrifting company, Sam Baum has built a dynamic program for Armoire’s “well-loved” pieces.
“I’ve always been into thrifting and finding reusability in clothing,” said Sam. “I found myself working in fashion, and saw how much waste is produced. I learned that fashion is a top contributor to landfill waste. I care about the environment, and wanted to help.”
In addition to a small-scale upcycling program managed by Armoire’s alterations department, Sam has put significant rigor around Armoire’s donation practice. Today, about 300 pieces of clothing a month are donated to the Seattle chapter of Dress for Success–a nonprofit organization empowering women to achieve economic independence by providing a supportive network, professional attire, and development tools. This partnership was recently documented on KING5’s Evening.
Through May 15, 2022, Armoire is casting a broader net to support Dress for Success, and encouraging others to clean out their closets to give old clothes new life. With our Closet Cleanout Initiative, Armoire will pay for your shipping to send up to 10 pounds of any unwanted clothes to our warehouse for donation to Dress for Success. Donations will be rewarded with significant membership savings, or a check for $10. Dress for Success is looking for high quality, nearly-new pieces, business staples, and professional brands. Seattle-area residents can drop off unlimited clothing items for donation at Armoire Go, our brick-and-mortar boutique located in Seattle’s Pioneer Square at 83 South King Street.
In addition to the donation route, Sam has built out a resale program, selling items on popular second hand sites. This method of retiring inventory has proven more challenging over the past couple of years as pandemic stay-at-home orders encouraged many people to finally clean out their closets. Given the influx, several second hand sites are not currently accepting inventory. Instead, Sam is taking a local approach, and has been selling “well-loved” pieces to members for $20 each at Armoire Go. Keeping this effort local also helps cut down on sustainability implications of shipping.
As the “well-loved” inventory grows, Sam is announcing a larger sale–well beyond the single rack that exists in the boutique today. The Well Loved Sale featuring hundreds of gently used items will take place on May 14 from 10am-4pm PT at Armoire Go in Pioneer Square. All are welcome, regardless of membership status. Each item will be $20. If you plan to attend, remember to bring any closet cleanout items that you’d like to donate to Dress for Success. See you on May 14th, 2022!