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How to Help Save 713 Gallons of Water as a Resale Apparel Franchise Owner

It takes roughly 713 gallons of water to produce a sufficient amount of cotton for an individual T-shirt, according to the World Wildlife Foundation. To put that into perspective, that’s enough water for one person to drink for more than two years.

The fashion industry is particularly guilty of wasteful practices that have a negative impact on the environment. For example, the United States Environmental Protection Agency reported that 16 million tons of textiles were generated in 2015, and of that:

  • 2.45 million tons were recycled
  • 3.05 million tons were converted from waste into energy
  • 10.53 million tons were sent to a landfill

To bring it home, the average American throws away 80 pounds of clothing per year, and it can take anywhere from 20 to 200 years to biodegrade.

A pile of thrown away shoes.

Franchisees of any of Winmark's resale apparel brands are actively working toward reducing the number of resources used in the apparel industry.

Resale Apparel Franchise Owners Building off Consumer Demand and Habits

Environmental issues are one area that seems to unite American consumers. In fact, 75 percent of U.S. adults say they’re concerned about helping the environment.

Fewer Americans said they make a constant effort to make lifestyle choices that will have a positive impact on the environment all the time. However, most – or 63 percent – put forth the effort at least some of the time to act in ways that are environmentally friendly. This isn’t altogether surprising; it can be emotionally and financially taxing on consumers to choose products and services labeled as “green” or good for the planet.

The interior of a Style Encore store.

This presents an opportunity for resale apparel franchise owners to capitalize on the concern and narrow the gap between concern and habitual action. Shopping at one of Winmark’s resale apparel franchises, including Once Upon A Child®, Plato’s Closet® and Style Encore®, doesn’t require consumers to change the way they buy clothing, accessories and other products.

In addition, the resale environment is similar to other retail concepts to which consumers are accustomed, but a key differentiator for each of these brands is the fact that shoppers can also sell their gently used goods in exchange for cash on the spot. Thus, consumers can easily maximize the reward – financial savings and earnings, fulfilling a need and/or enjoyment – which increases the likelihood they’ll make shopping at resale concepts a habitual action.

The results are clear in the number of textiles Winmark franchise brands have recycled in the past year.

A Business Model that Encourages Eco-Friendly Habits

The buy-and-sell aspect of our resale franchise brands helps keep clothes out of landfills, reduces wastewater, chemical pollution and air pollution from transportation and manufacturing. In 2018:

  • Once Upon A Child stores were able to keep 170 million articles of clothing, toys and accessories from being thrown away by recycling them to other consumers in the community
  • Plato’s Closet locations, meanwhile, kept more than 106 million items out of landfills
  • Style Encore stores prevented roughly 7.43 million pieces of clothing from meeting the same fate

Meanwhile, many franchisees partner with local organizations to donate clothing, creating even more opportunities to give those items a second use while keeping them from becoming landfill waste.

The interior of a Once Upon A Child store.

Consumers have significant opportunities to save on apparel shopping and make environmentally friendly choices at the same time. On the other side of the transaction, franchisees are able to facilitate green consumerism that yields a strong return on investment.

Are you ready to enter the $18 billion resale industry and own a profitable business whose mission you can be proud of?

Get started by downloading one of our free franchise reports here.