One of the many highlights at the 4th Annual Green Brooklyn-Green City Conference back in September
was running into the Wearable Collections Crew and this what Founder Adam Baruchowitz had to share.
Eco Hustler: Please hit us with a lil' background info; where you're from, previous career etc.?
Adam Baruchowitz: I grew up on Long Island, then went to Brandeis University in Waltham, Ma. I majored in economics. Hung around Boston for a bunch of years till i began my calling of being a stock day trader. I did this professionally for 10 years, even had my own office of 30 traders who worked for me at one point I have recently taken a hiatus from this profession in February to focus on my business. In 2003, I began working for Heeb Magazine as the Business Director and am still a managing partner to this day. In 2004, I founded Wearable Collections
Eco Hustler: What triggered you to start Wearable Collections?
Adam: One of my best friends and Partners of WC (wearable collections) was hit by a car while walking across Delancey St. leaving him paralyzed rom the chest down. We began to do a lot of fundraising for spinal cord research. One day, i saw a bag of clothes that was waiting to be picked up in my hallway. It stayed there for several weeks. I was reminded of how organizations did collections in long Island and realized that evey building is a community unto itself. If we could figure out a way to place a larger bin in the building, each pick up would be more efficient than picking up one bag at a time individually. Ethan was already the President of the Buoniconti Fund, the fundraising arm of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. So we put two and two together.
Eco Hustler: What does WC hope to accomplish?
Adam: We hope to reduce some of the 386 Million lbs of textiles headed toward landfills, according to a NYC 2004-05 waste characterization study, while raising funds for charitable oganizations.
Eco Hustler: What happens to clothes and items collected?
Adam: Once the clothes is collected it is sold to a third party vendor who sorts the clothing. Through the sorting process about 50% is reused as second hand clothing in markets such as Latin America and South America. Of the remaining 50%, about half is re-used as rags and wipers, while the other 50% is shredded and re-used as fibers for various products such as cushions.
Eco Hustler: What advice would you offer to a non-green person?
Adam: I would say that Green is not a trend, it is a conscious way of living. Given all the issues we are currently having with the economy, oil prices and politically, it only makes sense to go in this direction. If America really wants to be considered a world leader, it is time for us to take the lead and make the Green revolution our next Industrial revolution. We have enough technology at ur disposal currently, and in development to help ween us off foreign oil dependence, to create jobs and perhaps a totally new way of life, where conservation is appreciated much more than consumerism. At that point we will be living more harmoniously with the world around us. It is hard to refute this direction.