In the ever-growing mountain of cast-off textiles from the U.S. and other wealthy countries, Mumbai’s Jaideep Sajdeh saw a chance to build a business that could help the environment, create much-needed low-skilled jobs in India and make him rich.
A global glut of used clothing has pushed down the prices of recycled textiles as much as 50% in the last year. The per-ton price of discarded shirt, skirts and other cloth from the U.S., Canada and elsewhere has fallen so much that exporters are in effect giving them away, selling for the cost of shipping.
As explained in a story in The Wall Street Journal, the multi-billion dollar global industry that sorts and processes worn garments to resell them in places like Africa or change them into recycled yarn and industrial rags is struggling. Demand from Africa and India has dipped so it has not been able to absorb the growing supply generated in part by fast-fashion retailers.