Written by: Footprint Sustainability
To participate, please scroll down to the bottom of the page to fill out our form.
You may have seen that Margo Paige has been going through some changes as a brand recently! 2021 brought change to all of our lives in more ways than one, but while the world was shifting around us, we decided to hone in on our core values at Margo Paige. We spent 2021 taking a deep dive into our impact as a company, and set goals to operate as sustainably as possible.
One of the core ways that we’ve decided to reduce our environmental impact as a
company is by introducing a product take-back program! We invite you to learn more and participate with us:
What is a product take back program?
A product take back program is an initiative hosted by a retailer that allows a reverse flow of inventory back to the retailer for re-processing and repurposing. Take-back programs are key indicators of a circular business model, as they allow the business to intake the raw materials they put out into the economy and re-introduce them to a production cycle. The materials can get a second life through recycling, upcycling, repairs, or art. This prevents the materials from entering a landfill, and reduces demand in the overall market for virgin materials or products.
At Margo Paige, we felt that we couldn’t call ourselves a sustainable company if we were operating linearly - meaning, we produce a product, you use it, and then it goes to a landfill at the end of its life. Instead, we’re opting for a circular business model that allows us to close the loop between manufacturing and the end of life of our products.
How does Margo Paige’s product take back program work?
Due to the high recyclability potential of most of the materials in our handbags, we have opted to go for a specialized recycling route for our product take back program. Our materials were recycled to begin with, and will head back to be recycled at the end of their Margo Paige life for their next usage! With the help of our recycling partner, this is a truly circular model.
Margo Paige will fund the shipment of your Margo Paige handbag (or other brands’ bags) back to our facility in Austin. We are working with TerraCycle, a recycling social enterprise that works to eliminate the concept of waste, to collect handbags and send them in for specialized recycling periodically.
In this first phase of our product take-back program, the bags will likely be recycled in a waste-to-energy stream. Waste-to-energy recycling is a process where non-hazardous waste is converted into usable energy for electricity, heat, or fuel. The process creates an efficient fuel source that in-turn, decreases demand for fossil fuel derived energy. This fits in line with our ethos of reducing fossil fuel usage across the company: we use recycled materials to create our products, reducing demand for virgin fossil fuel derived materials. By contributing products at the end of their life to a waste-to-energy stream, we are again reducing fossil fuel demand by creating an alternative energy source. The EPA lists waste-to-energy recycling as an environmentally preferred method of waste management, as opposed to landfilling waste.
As our take-back program grows, our end goal for the program is to return our bag materials to a similar supply chain once recycled, so that the material usage is truly circular. Our main materials, clear vinyl and nylon, are almost infinitely recyclable! By putting our handbag materials back into the production stream, we can reduce the need for more fossil fuel derived products in the fashion market overall.
We anticipate growing into this form of recycling as the remanufacturing and product recycling industry advances in the coming years. While this program is intended to manage Margo Paige’s impact as a brand, we want to do our part to lessen the fashion industry’s impact on the environment as a whole.To fulfill this goal, we welcome you to return your handbag of any brand to us, and we’ll fund its recycling through TerraCycle’s Zero-Waste Box program!
How Do I Participate In The Takeback Program?
1. Fill out the form below to print your free return shipping label
2. Ship your bag back to us
3. Receive a 20% discount code to shop new Margo Paige products
4. Leave the rest to us! We’ll get the bag to TerraCycle for an end of life solution
If I don’t want to ship my bag back for Margo Paige to recycle it through TerraCycle, do I have any other options?
Yes! There are plenty of ways to responsibly dispose of your Margo Paige bag when it is no longer serving its purpose to you. Here are just a few ideas:
1. Check out your local municipality’s waste management options. Often times, cities will have zero-waste or waste management plans that provide resources on how to keep items out of landfills. Check out this program in Austin, TX as an example!
2. Consider your upcycling options: Can you use the parts of the bag for anything? Can it be used for a piece of art? We encourage you to get creative with upcycling options with your bag!
3. Research specialized recyclers in your area. They may have drop-off or collection options closer to home that don’t involve the impact of shipments. Check out this business in Philadelphia as an example!
4. Just need a repair? We recommend researching a local shoe and/or handbag repair business. Shoe repair businesses often have the skills and materials to repair handbags, since they have similar materials! Most towns/cities have repair businesses that have been around for generations and can easily repair a loose stitch, zipper, handle, or tear. Check out this business in Austin as an example!
5. Donate! If you can’t find a second use for your bag for yourself, consider donating usable items to your local cause-driven thrift store. Bonus points if you select a thrifting organization where the money goes to a cause close to your heart!