Upcy­cleverb — Upcy­cling is the process of con­vert­ing waste mate­ri­als or use­less prod­ucts into new mate­ri­als or prod­ucts of bet­ter qual­i­ty or a high­er envi­ron­men­tal value.

In the­o­ry, there’s noth­ing wrong with not need­ing or want­i­ng some­thing any­more. The prob­lem is what we do with all of our unwant­ed stuff.

“In 2006, Amer­i­cans gen­er­at­ed more than 11.8 mil­lion tons of tex­tile waste, which rep­re­sents 10 pounds for every per­son. Every week, one fac­to­ry can dis­pose of about 60,000 pounds of tex­tile waste that goes into land­fills. Clothes that are dis­card­ed not only con­tribute sol­id waste in land­fills, but also are part of a sys­tem that uses ener­gy and cre­ates car­bon emis­sions in tran­sit to dis­tant lands.” — LOOPTWORKS

Port­land-based LOOPTWORKS has devel­oped a unique process to assem­ble unique cloth­ing from excess mate­ri­als and components.




Some of the key ben­e­fits and added sus­tain­abil­i­ty as a result include:

  • A reduced pro­duc­tion time: Typ­i­cal­ly, from design to man­u­fac­tur­ing to ship­ping, cloth­ing pro­duc­tion would take up to 54 weeks at best. LOOPTWORKS can do the same in 12 weeks using less resources. 

  • Tru­ly unique: Using high-qual­i­ty excess mate­ri­als means that there’s a lim­it­ed run on lines. Each item in their lim­it­ed run is hand-num­bered and one-of-a-kind.

  • Cuts back on cre­at­ing more waste: LOOPTWORKS has no desire to cre­ate cloth­ing that has to be replaced in six short months. Each item is built to last, cut­ting back on the fre­quen­cy in which you’d look to replace your clothing.

Co-founder, Scott Ham­lin, main­tains that LOOPTWORKS is tack­ling a big­ger com­po­nent in sus­tain­abil­i­ty: pre-con­sumer waste. They do so by elim­i­nat­ing the need to go out and find com­po­nents to make their cloth­ing mate­ri­als and sim­ply using the excess mate­ri­als nor­mal­ly tossed away in oth­er processes.

Their prac­tices have been get­ting a lot of pos­i­tive atten­tion with a shout-out in O Mag­a­zine, an endorse­ment by Al Gore, and LOOPTWORKS has received the Inno­va­tion in Sus­tain­abil­i­ty Award from the Port­land Busi­ness Journal.