Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / Baltimore's Bill Schapiro is a man born to be green
Baltimore's Bill Schapiro is a man born to be green
25
Apr '11
It's rare today to hear about anyone following in the shoes of their great grandparents to continue the century-old family business. That's what makes Bill Schapiro a rare and interesting breed. "I am very proud to be a fourth generation Ragman," says Schapiro. He boasts about the rag or junk business which was an early way of recycling and a means of survival for immigrants like his great grandfather Solomon in 1907 Baltimore. Recycling discarded clothing for industrial uses, helped feed, clothe and shelter the young Schapiro family and others struggling to make ends meet at the turn of the century.

Later, Schapiro's grandfather, about 20 years old at the time, started collecting junk with a push cart and went on to build a sophisticated recycling business. "This was all before being green became so important and popular," says Schapiro. Now, he enthusiastically thumbs through log books his grandfather kept 90 years ago and marvels at the detail of the early rag trade. Today, that old rag business exists as modern textile recycling and a multi-million dollar international business for Schapiro's Baltimore-based company, Whitehouse and Schapiro.

Schapiro was literally born into recycling. His mother and father met at a recycling conference in 1948. That organization, now called SMART (Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles), is an international association of businesses dedicated to recycling and reusing secondhand clothing and textiles. Increased awareness of the impact of waste on the environment has made the recycling of paper and plastics almost second nature, however, textiles are often thrown away, filling landfills and wasting valuable materials. Schapiro, a former president of SMART, led the association with a passion aimed at changing that thinking. His mantra: "SMART was green before green was smart." Schapiro and SMART urge everyone to "Re-use, Recycle, Don't Throw Away" when it comes to secondhand clothing and other household textiles.

Donating used clothing to charities like Goodwill and The Salvation Army is a great way to start the process. Those organizations sell the re-usable clothing at their stores, but also raise cash for their programs by selling tons of donated clothing to SMART recyclers who sort and sell it to developing countries. Materials not wearable are recycled for use as industrial wipers. Schapiro does point out that the United States remains the largest user of secondhand clothing. Thousands of thrift stores flourish in this country and around the world fulfilling basic clothing needs and doing a brisk business selling one-of-a-kind vintage fashion items too.

Bill Schapiro has carried on the family business and SMART's mission to environmentally recycle used textiles. Now he also helps finance and launch new businesses in the rag trade just like his great-grandfather did more than a hundred years ago. "My grandfather would be amazed at how "sexy" our industry has become!"


Must ReadView All

Israeli minister announces tax cuts on consumer goods

Apparel/Garments | On 14th Dec 2017

Israeli minister announces tax cuts on consumer goods

The Israeli Government will slash taxes by $227 million, finance...

Courtesy: Kelvin Techstyles

Apparel/Garments | On 14th Dec 2017

Kelvin Techstyles fuses style and function in city apparel

Fusing style and function in outdoor clothing, Roseville,...

India’s WPI inflation for textiles up 0.3% in Nov 2017

Textiles | On 14th Dec 2017

India’s WPI inflation for textiles up 0.3% in Nov 2017

India’s annual rate of inflation, based on monthly wholesale price...

Interviews View All

Cindy McNaull
Cordura

We have broad range of options in durable fabrics

Top executives
Textile industry, India

The event should be organised every year

Kamlesh Vaghela
RK Textiles

Very few machinery manufacturers have R&D units

Harmeet Singh

New Delhi-based Jogindra Industries Private Limited provides an assortment ...

Abhishek Pachauri

Reckon Industries adapts latest systems for manufacturing from designing...

Erik Sy

Manila-based CustomThread is a start-up offering premium custom apparel...

Marten Alkhagen
Swerea IVF AB

Marten Alkhagen, Senior Scientist - Nonwoven and Technical Textiles of...

Ashok Desai
Bombay Textile Research Association

Bombay Textile Research Association (BTRA) is a leading name in textile...

Larry L Kinn
Suominen Corporation

Larry L Kinn, Senior Vice President - Operations Americas of Suominen...

Tony Ward
Tony Ward

"You have to truly understand what your client wants, know her needs, what ...

Rupa Sood and Sharan Apparao
Nayaab

Nayaab, an exhibition meant to celebrate Indian weaves, is in its second...

Yash P. Kotak
Bombay Hemp Company

One of the directors of Bombay Hemp Company, Yash P. Kotak, speaks to...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH

December 2017

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

news category


Related Categories:

Planning to Take the Leap towards
Sustainability?

Do you see sustainability as a route to business growth?

Yes No

Do you think the sustainability space has the needed tools and resources available for a business to lead change?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you see sustainability as a route to business growth?

Yes
69.6%
No
12.0%
Skip
18.5%

Total Votes: 92

Do you think adopting a sustainable approach will be a profitable move for your business?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you think the sustainability space has the needed tools and resources available for a business to lead change?

Yes
62.0%
No
30.4%
Skip
7.6%

Total Votes: 92

Do you want the world to know about your sustainability journey and your business’ environmental footprint?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you think adopting a sustainable approach will be a profitable move for your business?

Yes
87.0%
No
9.8%
Skip
3.3%

Total Votes: 92

Thanks for your valuable feedback. Claim your free latest sustainability e-book.

Active Poll

Do you want the world to know about your sustainability journey and your business’ environmental footprint?

Yes
81.5%
No
8.7%
Skip
9.8%

Total Votes: 92


E-News Insight
Subscribe Today and Get the
Latest News Update in Your Mail Box.
Advanced Search