Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / Military textiles to be recycled into high-end bags
Military textiles to be recycled into high-end bags
18
Jul '13
A team of six recent college graduates has come up with an innovative way to prevent functional finish chemistries from entering the environment by using tons of US Army textiles destined for landfills to make high end bags.

Led by the daughters of a retired US Army Colonel, the team has formed a company called Sword & Plough that sews and sells backpacks, messenger bags, and a large carry-all. All are made from surplus US military tents and sleeping bags destined for landfills or incineration.

Offering a recycling model that can be used with fabric-related military surplus from around the world, this potentially extends the life of unused military textiles.

The new bags also have the benefit of functional finishes such as water resistance, fire resistance, and UV protection. By turning excess military textiles into consumer facing products, the chemistries used to provide those finishes may not end up going into the environment.

Sword & Plough, which commenced operations in January of this year (but had been incubating for a few years prior to launch) has already sold 20,000 items through Kickstarter, a crowd sourcing website that helps entrepreneurs raise start-up capital. During Sword & Plough’s Kickstarter campaign, the company promised one of their products in exchange for a pledge.

Their initial goal was to sell 20,000 bags over a period of several weeks, but within two hours of launching their Kickstarter site this spring, met their goal. In all, Sword & Plough raised $312,000 through Kickstarter.

On July 4, the company began taking pre-orders for products through their website store front. With the bulk of the Kickstarter capital being invested in inventory, they anticipate being able to ship out products within 24 to 48 hours of getting an order by this fall.

According to Haik Kavookjian, the company’s communications director, Sword & Plough is based on a social business model that has what he describes as a “quadruple bottom line.” It’s a concept the Kickstarter crowd found compelling, and rests on what the young entrepreneurs behind this company describe as their commitment to four P’s: people, planet, profits, and purpose.

This includes 1) helping people by hiring vets who are out of work; 2) saving the planet, by repurposing unused surplus army tents and parachutes that would otherwise be burned or buried in a landfill; 3) making a profit so the company is sustainable; and 4) doing it all with a sense of purpose, which for them includes supporting organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides a wide variety of support services to injured US military veterans.

They also hope to create a dialogue between military and non-military communities in the US by drawing attention to the many issues being faced by returning US military veteran, plus they are committed to doing all of the manufacturing in the US.

Currently, the bags are manufactured in the US in Denver and Los Angeles by companies that employ US military veterans. According to Kavookjian, the Los Angeles facility is associated with a US Veterans Administration Hospital rehabilitation program.

Sword & Plough is currently outsourcing product assembly. “Another option is to set up our own facility and manage the manufacturing process on our own, but that’s a pretty big capital investment,” Kavookjian says. But whether outsourcing, or launching their own factory, “the hope is that we will continue to hire as many vets as possible.”

AATCC


Must ReadView All

Pic: Better Work

Apparel/Garments | On 24th Oct 2020

Positive change in Cambodian garment sector due to ILO BWP

Cambodian factories receiving the full package of services by Better...

Pic: Awaj Foundation

Apparel/Garments | On 24th Oct 2020

COVID erodes income of a third of Bangla apparel workers

Nearly a third of Bangladeshi garment workers suffered loss of...

Pic: Ralph Lauren

Fashion | On 24th Oct 2020

Ralph Lauren, Parity.org convene group to close gender gap

Ralph Lauren, which designs and markets premium lifestyle products,...

Interviews View All

Rajiv Sirohi, Shara

Rajiv Sirohi
Shara

‘Portugal is taking away a major share of the mill made sector.’

Neel Sawhney, One Friday

Neel Sawhney
One Friday

‘The share of kidswear segment in the online sector is still small in...

Smith Vaghasia, Sanado India

Smith Vaghasia
Sanado India

Online remains the best destination for shopping

Mirella Sardini,

Mirella Sardini

A leading manufacturer of automated machinery and equipment for the...

Himanshu Fogla,

Himanshu Fogla

Jumac, pioneers in spinning can manufacturing in India, was founded in...

Xavier Martinez,

Xavier Martinez

CADT Software & Drafting was founded in Spain in 1987 by Josep...

Suresh Patel, Sidwin Fabric

Suresh Patel
Sidwin Fabric

Sidwin Fabric is a manufacturer and exporter of polypropylene textiles and ...

Paige Mullis, Glen Raven Inc

Paige Mullis
Glen Raven Inc

Paige Mullis discusses the expansion plans of Glen Raven Inc in India, and ...

Iago Castro Asensio, RCfil Distribuciones S.L.

Iago Castro Asensio
RCfil Distribuciones S.L.

Iago Castro Asensio, International Business Manager of RCfil...

Tony Ward, Tony Ward

Tony Ward
Tony Ward

"You have to truly understand what your client wants, know her needs, what ...

Yash P. Kotak, Bombay Hemp Company

Yash P. Kotak
Bombay Hemp Company

One of the directors of Bombay Hemp Company, Yash P. Kotak, speaks to...

Pranav Mishra, Huemn

Pranav Mishra
Huemn

Designers Pranav Mishra and Shyma Shetty’s Huemn is known for its...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH

Leave your Comments


October 2020

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.


Advanced Search