Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

CycleRecover
Hickory, NC

The Recover mission is to produce the most ecologically friendly and socially responsible apparel possible and raise awareness towards environmental sustainability. Everything we make is 100-percent recycled. We use polyester from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles and recycled cotton from industry scraps that would otherwise go to landfills. Our product lines include shirts, hoodies, polos, dry fits and accessories such as tote bags and backpacks. Recover specializes in wholesale custom orders for businesses, events, races, festivals and much more. We work with anyone who has apparel needs and cares about sustainability!

Most people don’t realize all the potential that lies in that plastic bottle that they throw in the recycling bin; this is where the Recover process begins! Recycled plastic bottles are stripped of their caps and labels, washed, and sorted by color before being ground into shavings and melted into a polyester fiber -- a fiber that is nearly identical, chemically and functionally, to virgin polyester.

Meanwhile when textile manufacturers cut their fabric, there are inevitably scraps that hit the floor, typically bound for the dump. Instead, those are saved, sorted by color and blended with the polyester to create a new fiber. Presorting the colors is absolutely crucial to the environmental impact of the Recover process because it allows us to avoid using dyes in these 50/50 cotton/polyester garments; this saves a tremendous amounts of water and energy, and makes sure we stay true to our goal.

Just how significant are these reductions?

  • Energy consumption is reduced by over 66 percent.
  • Water consumption is reduced by over 55 percent.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by over 35 percent.

Recover is located in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina, which you could even call our muse. This amazing area is a constant reminder of why we do what we do; to protect our natural surroundings both local and global. That’s also why we host bi-monthly cleanups of local roads and rivers, removing waste from the drainages while educating people about recycling and sustainability. We also aim for zero waste across all company operations; a goal that has led us to upcycle all excess inventory into accessories like tote bags and backpacks.

Recover only works with facilities that meet or exceed industry compliance for fair and ethical treatment of workers, and are also environmentally friendly. We work with facilities in Guatemala, Haiti and the USA (in North and South Carolina), and ensure that all operations are something we can stand behind with pride.

We at Recover know that a good idea is never enough. For something to catch on, you need a great product that’s also economically practical; Recover is happy to boast both. We aim to serve as industry leaders, proving that high quality, comfortable clothing can be made responsibly and still be competitive in the market. In doing so, we hope to have a lasting impact on the garment industry. We believe that things can always be improved, whether that be the process or the product, so we will never stop questioning and improving. This philosophy will never change, and we will always strive to be the most environmentally and socially responsible apparel company around.

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