In 2010, 13.1 million tons of textiles were generated, according to a report from the US Environmental Protection Agency, representing 5.3% of the total municipal solid waste generated. With this Grassroots campaign, you can help reduce waste by sending old T-shirts to Project Repat, whose staffers will cut them into square-foot swatches, sew them together, and return them to you as an upcycled blanket. For $65, you get a 5'x6' fleece-backed blanket using the front panels of 30 T-shirts, the front and back panels of 15 T-shirts, or any combination in between (a $130 value).
Customers must pay to ship their T-shirts to Repat's Massachusetts location, but shipping of the final product is included in this campaign. Customers should clarify which sides they want used for the 30 panels by attaching notes to the shirts. Panels can typically capture 1'x1' of an image, meaning that larger images may be cropped to fit. Shirts should be made of soft material, and jeans and leather should not be sent.
Project Repat repurposes excess clothing into functional accessories including blankets, scarves, ties, and bags. While reducing waste from textiles, the business also creates living-wage jobs for American workers, including those with disabilities. Each blanket sold represents two hours of fair-wage work. Project Repat collects T-shirts from individuals, universities, and manufacturers and then sends them to partners such as Opportunity Threads, Precision Sportswear and NuPath, a nonprofit that provides a network of day services and residential housing for people with developmental disabilities, autism-spectrum disorders, and acquired brain injuries. Participants in these partners’ programs transform the T-shirts into freshly constructed accessories and then send them back to customers.
Learn more about social ventures and the way Groupon is partnering with them at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
Project Repat gives excess clothing second life, preserving T-shirt memories and creating living wage jobs for American workers–including those with disabilities–in the process. The business collects T-shirts from various sources and repurposes them into functional accessories for real people, such as blankets. Customers enjoy upcycled products that lack nothing in the comfort department: blankets, for instance, are backed with high-quality, USA-made Polar-Tec fleece.