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Why do we make products from t-shirts?

by | Apr 14, 2017

From the Founder and President, Kristin Keen:

The original idea I had for Rethreaded was that it would be a distribution company in the United States for foreign survivor-made goods. I thought I could hire a couple survivors in Jacksonville to help me run the business and I would be able to make an impact on a local and global level. God had bigger plans. My friend told me about a college research project his daughter had been participating in. She discovered that America is just throwing away all its unwanted t-shirts. I cringed at the thought and did some research. This is what I found:

(SOURCE: www.usagain.com/)

Effectively, that research project changed the course of Rethreaded. When I help to co-found Sari Bari, the survivors there made blankets and purses from upcycled saris, the traditional dress worn by Indian women. I thought why couldn’t we do the same thing in America with t-shirts? Rethreaded could be more than a distribution company, we could also be an upcycled t-shirt company.

I remember when I pitched the idea at One Spark. I only had two minutes. I got on stage and stood in front of all these people and I asked everyone to raise their hands if they had old t-shirts in their closets. Everyone raised their hands. Then I asked who wanted to use those t-shirts to change the world. Everyone raised their hands again.

(Kristin Keen at 2013 One Spark)

Now a few years later, people have been using their old t-shirts to tell a new story. We have a thriving business that has impacted the lives of 30 survivors through direct employment and helped to sustain the freedom of 2,200 women globally through our distribution company. We have upcycled countless t-shirts into beautiful items like the Grace Scarf and Threads for Hope Bracelet and even started a corporate gift collection, Gifts of Hope

So, what story do you want your t-shirt to tell?

In hope,

Kristin Keen

You can drop off donations Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at 820 Barnett St, Jacksonville, FL 32209.

To organize a t-shirt drive or if you know a company looking for somewhere to donate misprints, out of date, overstock t-shirts contact us.


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