The Search for a Profitable and Long-term Solution to Goodwill’s Excess Textile Salvage: A Market Analysis of Future Strategic Partnerships
Team: Gio Tramonto '19 and Kiera Parker-Emerson '19
The goal of our AMRE project was to find alternative solutions to best repurpose secondhand clothes or garments (textiles) for four North-East Ohio Goodwill Thrift stores. Currently, around 20% of the donations given to Goodwill are not sold and then these donations are packaged and sold overseas to vendors. Due to international markets closing their boarders to secondhand textiles, Goodwill's revenue stream from their left over donations, called salvage sales, was at risk. The AMRE team was given four data sets on Goodwill’s past unsold donations and a list of priorities for conducting future business. The final result was a two-pronged solution that included a short, and long-term plan. In the short-term, 3-5 years, Goodwill would partner with larger organizations to increase the global diversity of their overseas buyers. As the time passes, Goodwill will stay up to date with new companies that are reusing and recycling excess clothes across various industries, using organizational databases. In the long term, Goodwill will look to partner with a technology company that is able to take secondhand textiles at scale, break them down to the molecular fiber level, and build them back up into virgin fiber to be sold to large textile manufactures and brands.