Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
With the rise of fast fashion brands like H&M, Brits are buying more cheap clothing, which means thrift shops and textile recyclers are suddenly glutted with low-quality goods. The business of second-hand clothing is in crisis, and nobody's described it better than the Times UK, which put it thus: "In his textile recycling factory on the industrial outskirts of East London, Lawrence Barry wades across a floor feet-deep in other people's discarded clothing. Above him, precarious fabric dunes lean against the walls and reach up to the corrugated iron roof. The air is heavy with mothballs and the sweet, cloying stench of stale sweat. There was a time, 58-year-old Barry says, when the clothes coming into his warehouse reeked of love, instead." So gross, and yet so poignant. [Times UK]