Driven to do better

Who They Are

In the Fall of 2009, an outdoor enthusiast met a textile producer to buy a bike. Neither knew that this transaction would fuel not only a friendship built on the bike trails in North Carolina, but also a company built on doing the right thing. One day John Riddle, the textile veteran, explained to Bill Johnston that there was a better way to make shirts. He explained that by using manufacturing scraps and recycled bottles, they could create a material that kept trash out of the landfills and saved new resources from being extracted. Bill jumped on the idea. Six years later, Recover is still always looking for “better,” from manufacturing and labor to the dyes they use on their clothes!

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Why We Like Them

Recover was founded on the principle of doing the right thing. The founders, Bill and John, created this company because they felt that textiles could be made in a better way, and they constantly apply that criticism to their everyday practices. Not only does Recover create their t-shirts and other products in an innovative way, utilizing recycled materials and efficient processes, but they’re always looking for new ways to make them even better.

Most of their t-shirts are made using a recycled PET and recycled cotton blend. They utilize post consumer plastic bottles and cotton from industrial waste to create their soft, comfortable clothes. Compared to traditional manufacturers, Recover’s processes generate 35% less greenhouse gas emissions, expend 66% less energy, and use 55% less water to create each shirt. Additionally, Recover places a strong emphasis on using very few dyes, reducing chemical use, and ultimately using as little water and energy as possible.

Recover also places a large emphasis on social responsibility. They employ Haitian and Guatemalan citizens who would otherwise have trouble finding employment. Their Guatemalan facility is powered using alternative energy sources, including wood chips from the local forestry industry and coffee extract! Plus, they’ve partnered with the Island School, an environmentally oriented education program in the Bahamas that focuses on maintaining biodiversity in reefs.

  • 1% for the Planet
    1% for the Planet
  • Charitable
  • Safe & Fair Labor
    Safe and Fair Labor
  • Sustainable Manufacturing
    Sustainable Manufacturing
  • Recycled PET Fabric
    Recycled PET Fabric
  • Recycled Cotton
    Recycled Cotton
  • Upcycled Cotton
    Upcycled Cotton

This company partners with 1% for the Planet, a nonprofit organization that helps promote environmental stewardship. Members commit to donating at least 1% of their sales to the program, which helps connect them to high-impact environmental nonprofits across the globe.

This company donates a portion of their time or profits to charitable efforts in their community or abroad.

We support safe and fair labor practices when producing sustainable products. This company cares for their workers by fostering a safe work environment and providing their employees with fair wage.

Some or all of the energy used to make this product is produced via renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, or hydropower.

Recycled PET utilizes salvaged post-industrial PET scraps and post-consumer products such as water bottles and other plastic containers. These plastics are dried, crushed, and spun into yarn in order to create recycled PET fabric, or polyester. By providing a use for recycled plastics, companies encourage recycling programs worldwide, while adding new value to discarded items. Currently, over half of virgin PET production goes towards making textiles, so by utilizing recycled PET, post-consumer materials are both diverting waste while taking the place of raw materials. This helps to reduce the demand for the extraction of oil, as well as energy used to produce new synthetic fibers.

Recycled cotton is created by salvaging post-industrial and post-consumer cotton scraps. The scraps are cleaned, sorted, stripped down, and separated into fibers before being respun into new yarn. This yarn can be utilized to make new textiles, while avoiding the energy and resources required to produce virgin fibers. Plus, it extends the valuable life cycle of the material instead of sending it to the landfill.

Upcycled cotton salvages pre- and post-consumer fabric scraps and reuses them in new designs. Fabric scraps are cleaned, sorted, and often unwoven before being used again in new items. Upcycling cotton prevents the need for new textiles to be produced, and extends the life cycle of existing materials, rather than sending them to the landfill. Plus, it maintains the original structure of the cotton yarn, eliminating extra energy that would otherwise be needed to break down and respin the fibers into new yarn.

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