There is enormous value inherent in the products we use every day: value of human labor, human and fossil fuel energy, fresh water, chemicals, dyes, and natural resources like cotton, wool, and wood. Yet most of these products simply get thrown away. Not to put too fine a point on it, but... what a silly waste! What a ridiculous lesson to teach our children about valuing our resources. We wanted to do something about it.
At ReFleece, our mission is to reveal the value inherent in our everyday materials, and create a scalable, sustainable, and humane model for their reuse.
We have started with textiles: easily reclaimable, abundant, and with a 15% reclamation rate in the U.S.*, which means there is plenty of room for improvement.
Within the world of textiles, we have begun by partnering with clothing companies in the outdoor industry: companies that make clothes for folks who enjoy the outdoors. Saving the planet seems like a natural fit for folks who enjoy it so much. (Like us.)
Unlike many textile recyclers, we don’t melt these materials down, we don’t shred them, we don’t add new colors. We just clean, cut and press it into the forms we design. This allows us to showcase the history of the fabric, and highlight the fact that it’s re-used, while achieving a really beautiful, modern and unique look. Our goal is to help companies find value in their waste, while creating products that showcase how beautiful and unique a re-used product can be.
One more detail: we have specifically added "humane" to our mission statement, because all of this earth-saving wouldn't be very useful if we were not equally committed to creating a more just economy at the same time. One step towards that is producing our products here in the U.S., where we can inspect working conditions regularly, and where the awesome men and women who make our products can contribute their ideas, as well their labor, to our company.