My mom, like many others, enforced the practice of giving away an article of clothing each time I acquired something new. It’s a good rule to follow, especially if it, say, finally forces you to donate that wide-brimmed cowboy hat that just isn’t “you” anymore. One fashion brand brings new life to this take-and-give concept in the form of a socially-conscious business effort.
Based in Sweden, Fredrick Wikholm is the founder of the men’s clothing brand Uniforms for the Dedicated and the inventor of the Rag Bag. This specially-designed shopping bag encourages its users to donate something old when they buy something new. Shoppers simply remove their purchase, turn the biodegradable bag inside out, place something they choose to give away inside the bag, and put the package in the mailbox. The bag comes pre-addressed to a charity of the buyer’s choice and the postage has been paid for by the Uniforms for the Dedicated brand.
Wikholm says that sustainability is a natural part of his business model because it is what initially prompted him and his business partners to join the fashion industry. In 2012, the U.S. alone produced 14.3 million tons in textiles, much of which undoubtedly replaced still-wearable items that were tossed to the wayside. Wikholm wished to change this, creating his business around environmental sustainability and social responsibility.
There are numerous reasons why we, and many others, believe the Rag Bag is marketing gold. For one, it is certainly creative. The Rag Bag earned a win at the Epica Awards and received three nominations at Cannes. It’s a standout model because it takes something every shopper already uses – a shopping bag – and transforms it into a platform for advertising and a tool for social change. Consumers like to feel as though they’re making a difference, especially when little to no extra work is required.
Whether you wish to order Rag Bags for yourself or not, add another cycle to your clothing’s lifetime by adopting the Rag Bag mentality: The next time you go shopping for new pants, let your old pants go shopping for a new owner.