The Innovation Project: Jenna Knapp, Ian Rosenberger & Kelsey Halling

Jenna Knapp is Director of Production, Ian Rosenberger is Founder and CEO and Kelsey Halling is Director of Impact for Thread.

(l-r) Jenna Knapp, Director of Production
Ian Rosenberger, ​Founder and CEO
Kelsey Halling, ​Director of Impact
Thread International

“Starting Thread has been the greatest adventure of my life,” says Kelsey Halling, the company’s director of impact.

With the aim of “cleaning up” the textile industry, Thread transforms plastic garbage from developing countries into fabric for brands that want to use responsibly sourced materials.

“We’re creating the most transparent and responsible fabric on the planet in an industry that is infamous for its opaqueness,” says Halling. “Thread looks at waste as a resource to create jobs in the developing world. Everything we do, from fabric innovation to storytelling and job training in Haiti, comes back to one thing: how can we have the greatest positive impact on our planet and the people living on it.”

Thread was founded in 2011 with early-stage investment and support from so many Pittsburgh resources: Idea Foundry, Innovation Works, BlueTree Allied Angels, Draper Triangle Ventures, Riverfront Ventures and the Urban Redevelopment Authority. Today, Thread has 10 employees in Pittsburgh and one in Haiti. The company also recently initiated a micro-loan program in Haiti through which Thread loans money to Haitian recycling entrepreneurs within its supply chains to support sustainability, growth and education.

“Our team comes to work every day to revolutionize the second dirtiest industry on the planet. We’re dedicated to changing the world in a very tangible way — creating dignified jobs, respecting health and the environment and making the most responsible products on the planet, so consumers can feel good about where and how they spend their money,” says Halling. “We work hard every day to earn the right to work hard again the next day. Our team thrives on this.”

Thread’s clients include Moop, a local company that uses Thread fabric in its handmade bags, and international lifestyle brand Timberland. The companies recently announced this partnership in which Thread fabric will be used in Timberland’s spring 2017 bags and footwear collection. 


Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Did You See This? Steelers' JuJu Delivers Surprise Autograph

In a video he shared, JuJu Smith-Schuster shows up at a store that had just started selling his jerseys to sign one for a fan who had been waiting for it to come in.

Watch: The Terrible Towel and 45 Years of Steelers Nation

Perspectives from Franco Harris to Joe Manganiello.

Yinzers Eating Chicken Wings Are Going to Be on TV

Mt. Washington’s Bigham Tavern is the latest ‘Burgh eatery to host a film crew.

Madeline Bakery and Bistro to Open in Wilkinsburg

The French-inspired bakery will feature croissants, cookies, bread and more.

32 Years Celebrating Pittsburghers of the Year

As we honor the 2017 Pittsburghers of the year, take a look back at the previous honorees and their significant, unforgettable contributions to our city.

Wish a Steeler a Speedy Recovery in a Big Way

An oversized get-well-soon card for Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier is waiting for your signature Downtown.

Watch: Who is Faster on a Zamboni? Crosby or Malkin?

Sid and Geno love to compete, especially against each other. This time, the future Hall-of-Famers climbed aboard Zamboni machines for a race across a parking lot.

2017 Pittsburgher of the Year: Kelly Frey

No one would blame the veteran WTAE anchor if she took time off while undergoing intensive breast cancer treatment. Instead, she chose to use humor and grace to educate and inspire others, all while in the public eye.

Steelers Can't Ease Their Patriots Pain Until January

Much as they’d like to, the Steelers won’t be able to exorcise the ghosts of AFC Championship Games Past, even with a win on Sunday.

Green Medicine: The Business of Medical Marijuana

For many, medical marijuana is a panacea capable of alleviating a wide range of symptoms. As Pennsylvania begins allowing the drug’s medical use, patients are relieved — and business is booming.