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?
1. Fill out the form below with your name, email, and shipping address in the comment section to print your free return shipping label. We will send over a label when it's ready!
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