One person’s trash is another consumer’s t-shirt.
Eastern Mountain Sports, one of the country’s leading sports equipment retailers, recently became the first large national chain to carry 100 percent recycled clothing made in the U.S.
The clothing is made by manufacturer SustainU, a West Virginia-based company that blends pre-consumer cotton waste and post-consumer polyester comprised primary from plastic bottles and post-industrial polyester scraps into a sustainable textile with a marked decline in carbon footprint thanks to the company’s ban on virgin materials.
“As an outdoor retailer, Eastern Mountain Sports is committed to doing everything we can to preserve and protect our planet,” Eastern Mountain Sports CEO Will Manzer says in a press release. “That’s why we’re proud to partner with SustainU to reduce the environmental impact of our graphic t-shirts while supporting a small, American business.”
SustainU is about more than creating a sustainable, wearable product, the company says on its website. It’s also about creating manufacturing jobs in the U.S. in states that have been hit hard by the economic collapse.
“Less than two percent of the clothing sold in the US is actually made here. It is vital that we begin to bring this part of our economy back and the jobs that go with it,” SustainU CEO and founder Chris Yura says in the release.
The line of t-shirts and sweatshirts has competitive pricing similar to a sports brand like Nike or another U.S. based manufacturer, American Apparel, running between $20 and $40 per item.