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The Literal Height of Fashion: Mountains of Clothes Build-Up

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As the signs could be seen everywhere, the multi-billion dollar industry of secondhand trading clothes has indeed lessened the risk of having fashion garments stockpile over landfills. However, because of the pandemic, merchants have been struggling with their thrift shops and clothing banks as mountain loads of clothes are being stocked outside their shops and in their warehouses. Aside from that, resellers and exporters have been forced to cut down their prices due to the massive lockdown measures, leading to slow business flow. According to Antonio de Carvalho, boss of a textile recycling company in Stourbridge, central England said that his regular expense of 570 pounds ($726) a tonne dropped down to 400 pounds, making it somewhat difficult to collect and store items. Aside from that, his customers also demanded to increase the credit period wherein they would use to pay in 15 days to a staggering 45-60 days, which gave cash flow problems for De Carvalho’s business. 

The Shutdown of Businesses

Antonio de Carvalho’s story is one of many traders worldwide who are experiencing this so-called downfall. Many other recyclers have had to remove clothes banks from their areas and lessen the times they were cleared out weekly. Some owners even had to lay off workers to reduce their expenses and save more money. After interviewing 16 market players, irony seemed to be peaking through the already damaged hole. Problems quickly arose for many such as exporters, traders, and customers for numerous low-end countries solely relying on used clothes. Britain has struggled too, as their exports’ regular weight was half of what they got the previous year. America wasn’t safe either, as a third of their clothes ended up in the markets of developing countries despite their reputation as “the world’s biggest exporter of used clothing.”

The Cries of Kenya

On the other side of the globe, various countries such as Kenya have also felt the wrath set upon by COVID-19. Aside from its fall as a country, things got even worse when their government banned the production and distribution of textiles in March due to its risk of spreading the virus. Despite the ban being lifted in August, traders still couldn’t do anything after the damage COVID 19 has caused. Mutisya and Anthony Kang’ethe are drivers of a secondhand clothes selling shop who expressed their thoughts on the whole matter. According to them, before the pandemic, there used to be five of them. But after everything that has happened, they were the only ones left.

The Devil Does Wear Prada.

Although the second-hand clothing market boomed way back in the 90s, things haven’t gotten better since. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, production for clothing has doubled over the past 15 years because of the public’s demand. It was proven that the fashion industry also produces over 10% of global carbon emissions and is the second-biggest consumer of water. As numerous countries worldwide have been in demand for more clothing such as the United States and Britain, a report made by the Environmental Audit Committee claimed that over 300,000 tons of apparel go straight to the landfills or incineration yearly. According to Anna Smith, a doctoral researcher at King’s College London, she claims that our environment’s sad truth is that the whole problem is getting bigger and people are consuming more.

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Five Marketing Tips for Self-Employed Individuals

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Amid the Coronavirus pandemic, the economy was thrown into tumult. Many people were made redundant, prompting them to find creative new ways to make money. The number of freelancers working in the US rose by 22% between 2019 and 2020.

Today, there are around 9.6 million people in America who are self-employed. If you’re one of them, and you’re still finding your feet, you might be wondering about marketing tips for those in your position.

Marketing when self-employed is a specific art. In essence, it involves selling yourself rather than a brand or product. To some people, this can be tricky.

If you’d like to learn about some of the most effective ways to boost your business, look no further. Read on for five marketing tips for self-employed workers.

1. Make Sure Your Website Amazing

The first thing that every self-employed person needs is a well-designed website. As an employee, a LinkedIn profile normally suffices. Not so when you’re working for yourself.

Your website should look professional and contain important information about yourself or your business. Include a contact form, information about your rates or products, and a portfolio of your work. Your website should entice anyone who comes across it to want to work with you.

2. Pay for Targeted Advertising

In the age of social media and digital marketing, it’s easier than ever before to get your name out there. Targeted advertising is an amazing place to start. Craft an eye-catching Instagram or Facebook ad, and then set it to target specific demographics.

3. Engage With the Freelancing Community

As this insightful blog from Hectic App points out, engaging with your community is an amazing way to learn about new business opportunities within your industry. Someone might be able to recommend you for a job or you can find people to collaborate on projects with. Keeping plugged into your industry is always a good idea.

4. Utilize Social Media

If a website is the first thing that a self-employed worker needs, then a strong social media presence is the second. Make sure you’ve got profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Don’t miss any opportunities to get your name out there.

You can hold competitions to boost your following and use social media to connect with your clients or customers. Putting a face to your business will make people more likely to want to work with you.

5. Provide Excellent Customer Service

One of the easiest ways to get more business is to provide your current clients with work and customer service so stellar that they will want to come back—and bring their friends with them. If you are good at what you do, and you deliver your products or services on time, you’ll be able to secure repeat business. Your clients will also be likely to leave you positive reviews and recommend you to others.

Marketing Tips for Self-Employed Individuals

Hopefully, these marketing tips will help you to boost your self-employed business and get you the recognition you deserve. If you’ve found this guide helpful, don’t forget to check out the rest of our content.

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Is Going Solar in North Carolina Worth It?

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North Carolina currently ranks third in the country for solar installations. It’s clear that North Carolinians are big fans of solar energy. But if you live in North Carolina, is solar power going to be right for you?

That’s an excellent question. And luckily for you, we’re here to help you figure out the answer. So keep on reading and we will take you through everything that you need to know about going solar in North Carolina.

The Cost to Go Solar in North Carolina

The average solar panel costs around $2.60/W in North Carolina. A solar panel system size tends to be around 5 kilowatts (kW) in North Carolina. This means that the cost for a solar panel installation will be around $13,000.

After you account for the 26% Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and other local and state solar incentives, the net price is going to drop by thousands of dollars.

You can also check out a solar savings report to find out even more about how much you are going to save.

Property Tax Exemption

Aside from the federal tax credit, you’re also going to get a property tax exemption from the state of North Carolina. When you add solar panels to your home, you’re going to increase the value of your house.

If the value of your property goes up, you typically need to pay more in taxes. However, that’s not the case when it comes to solar panels in North Carolina.

In this state, you’ll get a property tax exemption for the value that is added to your home from solar panels. Plus, when you go to sell your home, you’ll be able to make more money because your home will be worth more.

Lengthy Warranties Mean Peace of Mind

When you get solar panels, they should come with a warranty for at least 25 years. And the inverter will come with a warranty for 12 years. You might even be able to extend the warranty for an additional 13 years.

The inverter is the tool that turns the direct current electricity that your panels generate into the alternating current electricity that your house utilizes.

When you have very long warranties, you will know that the items are made to last you for a long time. So now you can sit back and relax as your system produces plenty of energy.

You’ll Be Helping the Local Economy

When you work with local solar companies, you’ll be boosting the local economy. In North Carolina, there are more than 6,400 people working in the solar industry and more than 500 solar companies. Plus, the industry generates around $3 billion in revenue.

The Importance of Knowing About Going Solar in North Carolina

As we can see, you can save a lot of money when you consider going solar in North Carolina. By doing your research, you could end up saving money while powering your home in a sustainable way.

Make sure to check out the rest of our site for more helpful articles!

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2021 Will Be a Year of Vaccines, Says a Feng Shui Expert

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The coming year will be the Year of the Metal Ox, according to the Chinese calendar. Consequently, experts speculate that 2021 will be a year filled with massive inoculation as the world comes head-to-head against the dreaded novel coronavirus that has already claimed more than a million lives. COVID-19 vaccines will be provided for many, finally allowing people to reclaim a semblance of pre-COVID-19 life.

“It’s a ‘metal’ year, so it’s a year of vaccination because of the metal element. The metal aspect is the needle (used in syringes to administer the vaccine),” explains Marites Allen, a feng shui guru who is popularly called the “Queen of Feng Shui,” in a recent virtual meeting with various writers hailing from different countries. Allen conducted the said meet-up from London where she and her family are currently based. During the digital gathering, she provided the participants with several predictions for the coming year.

In line with Allen’s forecast, the United Kingdom and the United States have already launched their vaccination campaigns. Other countries are following suit as many of them are also slowly rolling out COVID-19 vaccines among their citizens.  

As regards the economy, Allen predicts that investors will turn to technology-based businesses. “Those that have something to do with earth, such as real estate, may also expect a good year,” she shares.

Nevertheless, she mentions that not everyone will be going all-out in terms of investments and other life-changing decisions. This will be due to the fact that 2021 will lack the element of Fire, a major factor that provides optimism to all.

“Some have doubts in their hearts and minds. Trust will not be there in full swing,” Allen adds as she reiterates the need to save up and only spend money on things that are absolutely necessary.

Aside from finances and COVID-19 vaccines, she also mentions several Chinese zodiac signs that will be lucky next year. People who were born in the years of the tiger, ox, rooster, horse, and rabbit may experience a better year ahead, Allen says. Those, however, who were born during the years of the dog, rat, sheep, boar, snake, and dragon must be prepared to face the different challenges that will arrive.

Nevertheless, Allen points out that she, like other feng shui practitioners, does not do fortune telling. “We are just offering them guides on what the general atmosphere may bring,” she shares. She is scheduled to provide a more in-depth look into the different things that 2021 may bring.

Allen mentions that she is trying to embrace the challenges of the New Normal, adjusting to the demands of the new way of life. She claims that it is important for people to do so, as well. Despite the hopeful promise of COVID-19 vaccines next year, she reminds others to continue being careful so as to prevent the still rapid spread of the deadly disease. Furthermore, those who may want to read more about her predictions can find her via her different social media handles.

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