I own a mannequin recycling company. We recycle mannequins for retail stores when they remodel or go out of business. Mannequins are made out of materials that do not biodegrade, so they should not go into the dumpster and ultimately into landfills. (if you know any retailers who are getting rid of mannequins, let me know)
Sometimes the mannequins we recycle are practically brand new – say if a store goes bankrupt after being in business a short time. Other times the mannequins may have a missing or broken part. While a slightly distressed mannequin is not one a retailer would want in their store, it is perfect for a mosaic artist or Halloween Display.
I stumbled upon this endeavor (more about that in another post). But what I love about it is:
1 Most of my customers are highly creative and imaginative people (I am constantly amazed by the unique ways people use mannequins) A large majority of our customers are not retail store owners and but private individuals and small business owners.
2 People are happy to come to my warehouse – unlike say coming in for a root canal. They are thrilled to find a mannequin to rent, or a mannequin part for their theatre production or a discount price on a gently used designer mannequin.
3 My business is eco-friendly. We recycle over 100,000 pounds of mannequins a year and received a special achievement award from the Environmental Protection Agency. We are also a certified green business – not just for what we do, but how we do what we do.
4 Lots of independent fashion designers and Project Runway wannabees buy their mannequins and dress forms from us. It makes me feel like Sarah Jessica Parker to have a cadre of designers who know me by my first name, set aside outfits just for me and my closet is filled with clothes that are not mass produced.
5 When I say I work with a bunch of stiffs and dummies, it is not a put down. I love my “co-workers.” Although some of them are a little high maintenance, they never complain about my management style, ask for a raise or get upset when I make them work overtime.