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Bottles and Backpacks Meet in the ‘Burgh

This Homewood-based fabric manufacturer that turns plastic waste into backpacks has launched a new product, and they’re doing it with the help of the local community.




photo provided

 

Imagine a backpack made from 100 percent recycled plastic – not the one from your ecology summer camp, but one that fits your life as an adult – one you’d actually want to carry around all day. Maybe it holds your laptop and other workplace accessories, maybe gym clothes, or maybe even a bottle of wine and some bread.

The entrepreneurs at Thread, a Pittsburgh-based company making fabric from plastic bottles, are making that backpack. Thread’s already supplying their fabrics to brands like Timberland and Reebok, but now they’re using it to make their first product — the Better Backpack.

It’s a bag designed for pretty much anyone who needs to go places and take things with them, whether that place is the office, the gym or even date night. It has additional top and side handles to function as a briefcase or purse and comes in two sizes. The bag also has several small exterior pockets to hold items such as sunglasses, notebooks, small umbrellas, or again — wine. The waxed-canvas fabric comes in three colors and is water-resistant, so if you forget to put your umbrella in that side pocket, there’s no need to panic.

With 13 days left of the campaign and $389,303 raised out of a $45,000, Thread expects to begin delivering backpacks to their 2,460 backers in February. They provide jobs for Pittsburgh community members at their workshop in Homewood, teaching employees to manufacture their products to bolster the local economy.

Learn more about the Thread, or back their campaign on Kickstarter, here.

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