We had the good fortune of connecting with SAM EBENEZER and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi SAM, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I am a strong advocate for building a strong band, In the textile recycling industry there are several companies that do the same exact work as Green City Recycler. But you don’t know them by name they are always hiding under the radar. I wanted to change that, I wanted people to know Green City, we wanted to be loud and change the way our industry operates. We focused a lot of our time and energy on brand building. In 2015 we did a small exercise we spoke to several folks who stopped by our clothing recycling and we asked them what made them to use our bin to recycle vs the dozen other competitors. Most said they just wanted to get rid of their clothes and they didn’t care of the brand or company, they wanted to use the most convenient bin to them, most of our users didn’t even research if the bins belonged to a charity or a for profit company. So we made sure we wanted to be the loudest in the city, we wanted to get up front with people, we created a solid social marketing to have a strong digital presence. Our Brand was created to be on people feeds frequently we spent time and effort to educate folks on textile recycling and its pros and cons. We changed our brand by becoming very transparent and informative. We educated our clients on how the clothing recycling process works, when our competitors have zero social media presence we are super active and this has been our strength. We also targeted large malls, we are the only area operators to have exclusive partnerships with SIMON MALLS(KATY PREMIUM OUTLETS), Simon Malls are the largest shopping mall operators in the USA. If we are going to address fast fashion what better place to start than a big shopping mall? We have our clothing recycling stations present at the Mall entrance, our pods create a brand awareness to folks walking into buy new clothing, our pods are an message to the shoppers that when they are done with their clothing they can recycle it using our pods. By being active online and having built a strong brand that makes us stand out from the crowd, its also helped us win award (Houston Mayors Proud Partner Award – Presented by Keep Houston Beautiful). We have also seen a high frequency of customers calling in to request a home pick up in the past year and they know us and our convenient service.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Green City Recycler is an award winning textile recycling company (Houston Mayor’s Proud Partner Award winner for 2018 and 2019. Green city recycles used clothing and resells them to markets that are dependent on used clothing, we accept the good, bad and ugly clothing and find ways to recycle/reuse or upcycle the textiles we receive. Our signature clothing recycling pods are placed at over 600 locations across Houston which makes it easy and convenient for Houstonians to drop off their used clothing. While there are several companies involved in textile recycling few educate folks on the process of textile recycling, we make a concentrated effort on educating folks about the textile recycling and the fast fashion industry. The fashion industry is the biggest polluter in the the world and companies like Green City are needed to divert the textile waste. Folks will recycle used textiles if they are provided with an convenient option, we have easily accessible pods and we offer free home pick ups, residents can call us, schedule a pick up and leave the bags on their front porch and we would pick them up. Folks think clothing collection pods are an eyesore, but we changed that by offering 3 days a week pick up to all our hosts, we want our hosts to be happy with our pods. We were able to expand to several luxury communities, shopping malls by offering this simple pledge,. When most operators will only offer once a week pick ups, our thrice a week pick ups give hosts a peace of mind to use our pods. We support several local and national charities by our recycling efforts, schools host our pods and raise funds to support these charities. Several corporations host our pods, making it easy for their staff to recycle on site, and we in-turn support a charity of their choice,. HP Computers,Spring TX, hosts our pods and support Texas Children’s Hospital, so our pods are used as a way to recycle and support a cause. Building Green City I learnt that people will recycle if we make it easy, not cumbersome and educate them on why to recycle. We want the folks to know we are a simple phone call or Facebook message away from making it as easy as possible to recycle their used clothing. We are also an exclusive partner of TaBee recycling app in Texas, the app can be used to easily schedule a pick up. Simple enter address take a few pictures of the bags and press submit our truck will be on its way. If our pods aren’t close to your house we will come to your house and gather what you have and make sue the life of that cloth goes further.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
When I moved to Houston in 2014, it took a good 2 years for me to explore the city to find out what to do where to take folks so they would have a good time. I am outdoors person and I love to try various cuisine. Houston has so many good food joints and stuff to do. When I have family and friends visiting the biggest highlights are, a day trip to Surfside beach where you can park you car right by the beach and have your grill out and cook up some fajitas or burgers. When we do go out to eat, my picks are Velvett Tacos, Pappascitos, Kileens BBQ(A must). Id usually do a nice day walk along buffalo bayou close to downtown and head straight to Velvett tacos on Washington after enjoying some splendid views of downtown HTX. I love deserts so definitely a trip to Jennis Splenid ice creams, Amorino Gelatos in River Oaks. One of my fav drinks is lavender lemonade so I’d taken them to Common bond Bakery for a quick coffee(Lavender late). Oh and their macaroons are excellent as well. Since I love outdoors a trip to Terry Hershey park. If they are up for some adventure id take them for a mountain bike ride uptown Cypress Creek MTB trails at 100 acre woods off 249 and Cypresswood.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are several organizations that we partner with, but the constant encouragement I get from Amy Reed and Keep Houston Beautiful and their recognition of our work for the city of Houston deserves a shoutout. Keep Houston Beautiful does fantastic work educating folks on various environmental issues that affect Houston. Our partnership can only get better in the coming years
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