• Posted on September 19 2011 by Eileen Birnbaum

    Park(ing) Day Dallas

    Taking occasional field trips is part of what we do here at World Wear Project.  We like to stay in touch with what is going on in the community, visit and support new and interesting events and businesses in the Dallas and surrounding areas.  I heard about Park(ing) Day on KERA radio in the morning but couldn’t find out anything on their website.

    I called a friend in Deep Ellum to find out if he had any information about it since they’d mentioned that there was participation in Deep Ellum.  He at least knew the name of it. 

    We needed to visit one of our recycling partners, Recycle Revolution in Deep Ellum to check on bins they are hosting at their location.  I also had corks I needed to recycle since Recycle Revolution can recycle those for you.  So we set out for Deep Ellum and downtown to see what we would find. 

    Park(ing) Day Dallas in Deep Ellum        Park(ing) Day Dallas Fall 2011

    On Friday, September 16th, Dallas participated in Park(ing) Day which began in San Francisco in 2006 as a social experiment to challenge our perceptions of public space. The annual event calls on citizens to reclaim streets and re-envision them as assets for community-building. The idea has spread around the world, and on that day PARK installations popped up as far away as Iran, India, China and New Zealand. Ideas for the transformed spaces are limitless, but all had the goal of bringing people together.

    What would you put in a parking space?  We at World Wear Project know that we want to participate in next year’s event to bring awareness to textile recycling and the fact that we can keep millions of pounds of shoes and clothing out of our landfills every year.  We’d also like to get the word out about fundraising and partnering with us to raise funds for your organization.  Look for us next year at Park(ing) Day Dallas.

  • Posted on September 16 2011 by Eileen Birnbaum

    We’ve entered into many partnerships with local private schools in the D/FW metroplex.  Some of the schools have athletic shoe recycling bins, some have the larger 4’ x 4’ metal recycling bins, and some schools have both bins.  It’s a great way to raise funds for your school if you host bins on your campus.  We are paying the schools an initial donation and making a payment each month for the shoes and/or clothing collected.  These monies are going to fund many programs and projects at the various schools with which we’re working.  Our bins look really great and are decorated with the logo artwork for each school.  Just got an e-mail from a school today that said the bins, which were recently delivered, were the talk of the school.

    We would love to work with your school, church or community organization.  It’s an easy way to support your school, and provides a steady stream of income throughout the school year.  It also provides affordable clothing to some of the poorest people on the planet.  We’d also love for your group of students to come visit our plant to get a feel for how much we have, and have to get rid of, and how it can be shared with people around our world.

  • Posted on September 15 2011 by Eileen Birnbaum

    My son was lucky enough in 2009 to travel to Tanzania with his dad to visit one of our customers in Tanzania.  They flew into Arusha and visited marketplaces in and around the area.  They then traveled to the mountainous northeast where Mount Kilimanjaro is located so that they could go on a guided photo safari and hike the mountain. There they came upon members of the Maasai tribe.  The Maasai are a Nilotic ethnic group of semi-nomadic people located in Kenya and northern Tanzania.  They are among the best known of African ethnic groups, due to their distinctive customs and dress and residence near the many game parks of East Africa.  Many Maasai tribes throughout Tanzania and Kenya welcome visits to their village to experience their culture, traditions, and lifestyle.  Upon meeting some of the tribesmen they came upon one man who was wearing a baseball cap, and were surprised to see it was one very familiar to them.

    Needless to say this gentleman didn’t have any idea what type of ball cap he was wearing.  They tried to explain it to him, but, not surprisingly, he still didn’t seem to understand.  This experience was definitely an example of how shoes, clothing, hats and caps can make their way from closets in the U.S., and in this instance, likely the closet of a North Texan, to find a new life halfway around the world in a village in Tanzania.  That cap is definitely performing a service for this gentleman in such a sunny place, and he seems to be wearing it very proudly.

  • Posted on September 15 2011 by Eileen Birnbaum

    Rag and bone man is a British phrase for a junk dealer.  Historically the phrase referred to an individual who would travel the streets of a city with a horse drawn cart, and would collect old rags (for converting into fabric and paper), bone for making glue, scrap iron and other items, often trading them for other items of limited value.  They would use a distinctive call to alert householders to their presence, sometimes also ringing a hand bell.  The call was something similar to “rag-and-bone”, delivered in a sing-song fashion.  Long usage tended to simplify the words, for instance down to “any raa-boh”, even to the point of incomprehensibility, although the locals could easily identify who was making the call.

    The rag-and-bone men were an important component of society before automotive transport.  Householders had limited ability to travel to collection points, so the various customers for rags, bones, and such materials relied on the rag-and-bone men to supply some of their materials.  The increasingly widespread use of cars made these dealers unneeded in many areas.

    Rag-and-bone men supported recycling or remanufacturing.  Boarding a bus carrying rags or bones was not something the average householder wanted to do, so the rag-and-bone man could still provide a valued service.

    The White Stripes have a song on the album Icky Thump called “Rag and Bone” on which Jack and Meg White sing about being rag and bone men and collecting junk.  Check it out on iTunes.