Unreasonable Impact: The Most Responsible Fabric on the Planet: Q&A With Thread

by Brittany Lane
Apr 24, 2017 8:05 AM ET
Multimedia with summary

Originally posted on Unreasonable Impact, created with Barclays

The clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world; only oil contaminates more. “Fast fashion” emphasizes getting the latest trends from catwalk to consumer as fast and as cheaply possible. This perspective on the clothes we wear every day devalues the materials, mistreats the laborers, and obfuscates the supply chain.

Thread is bringing transparency and fair treatment back into apparel by producing fabrics transformed from plastic bottles found in the streets of some of the poorest communities on the planet. More importantly, this company is on a mission to end poverty by creating dignified jobs alongside nonprofit partner Team Tassy – their stories inextricably linked after the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010.

Today, over 1,300 Haitians collect the plastic bottles that become Thread™ fabric. Each yard of fabric is tracked from the “first mile” to the last, where it winds up in the products of global brands seeking smarter sustainability practices. According to its most recent Impact Report, Thread created 3,845 income opportunities in Haiti and Honduras and exported over 378,000 pounds of plastic waste in 2016 alone.

Most recently, Thread launched its new collection with Timberland called Thread X Timberland. The shoes, t-shirts and bags incorporate Thread’s fabric and tell the story of what it means to go from Ground to Good™ and reframe what it means to be fashionable.

Unreasonable sat down with Ian Rosenberger, founder of Team Tassy and Thread, to discuss why he went to Haiti in the first place, how he formed his philosophy on poverty, and why we need an apparel revolution.

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