Plastic waste has become a centerpiece in global environmental efforts, hundreds of millions of tons of plastic pollution and textile waste are produced every year. As landfills and places like The Great Pacific Garbage Patch continue to grow, we at Mountain Khakis are constantly looking for ways to make our supply chain more sustainable, and one of our partners, Recover Brands, a local apparel manufacturer in Charlotte, NC, is providing solutions. Since 2010, Recover has diverted 12,534,376 plastic bottles from the landfill, saved 19,005,248 lbs of CO2 emissions, saved 46,690,551 KWH of energy, and saved 3.26 billion gallons of water.
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The story of Recover Brands began in 2008 when Bill Johnson, a recent college graduate with experience in textiles and an obsession with sustainability, began guiding backpacking and mountaineering trips with teenagers. There in the backcountry he saw the impact of plastic pollution. He knew something needed to be done and people needed to be educated about making sustainable decisions. A year later in 2009, Bill met with textile veteran and family friend John Riddle to purchase a used road bike . The two friends began riding together and a year later in 2010, founded Recover as “a mission-driven sustainable apparel company that would not only reduce plastic pollution in our rivers, oceans, landfills, and adventure playgrounds, but would also give people an easy choice to be part of a solution instead of part of a problem.”
Recover offers 100% recycled products from start to finish. Using Recover’s process, plastic bottles are collected and sorted, then cleaned and shredded into flakes that are melted down into pellets, which are then extruded into yarn. Then cotton from discarded industry scaps are collected and sorted by color, this allows them to minimize dyes. The upcycled cotton fibers are broken down and blended with post consumer PET fiber, then the blended fibers are spun into a 50/50 cotton/ poly yarn that is knitted into fabric and soured. Fabric is then cut and sewn into the softest tee you’ve ever worn.
Their local supply chain produces Recover’s Made in USA line, which boasts 100% recycled materials, 100% made in the USA. From material sourcing to cut and sew, every part of the process happens within a 250 mile radius of their headquarters in North Carolina. From raw materials sourced to cut and sew, supporting the local economy and employment. This supports the local economy and employment, it provides demand for local recycled materials, and significantly reduces carbon emissions. If you trace the typical journey of your average fast fashion t—shirt, just one shirt could travel up to 16,500 miles to go from materials to store.
Recover also has a fully integrated vertical manufacturing facility in El Salvador, where everything from spinning recycled fibers into yarn to sewing a finished garment, happens in the same facility. This allows them to ensure affordable quality products, while significantly reducing their carbon footprint by eliminating transportation throughout the supply chain.
They also provide a solution for consumers to avoid having our Recover products ending up in a landfill with the development of their “Close The Loop” program, where you can return any Recover garments and they will upcycle your old gear into new products.
As Recover continues to rapidly grow, they are committed to partnering with brands that share their love of the outdoor lifestyle and sustainability. As a member of 1% For The Planet, they commit to donating 1% of their annual sales to environmental nonprofits, have launched the Protect Our Parks an initiative that donates proceeds to the protection of public lands, and the Recover Clean Water initiative that provides clean water locally and globally to those in need. They are committed to educating the world about single use plastic and are focused on improving their existing supply chain, adding more technical designs, and expanding their product line to include more sustainable options.
Get your hands on a couple of our favorite Mountain Khakis x Recover Tees!