The apparel industry is responsible for a huge amount of waste — not just from people discarding old clothes, as you might think, but from the clothes manufacturing process itself. To create a leather jacket, for example, you start with a big piece of leather, then cut away and discard all the parts that aren’t the leather jacket. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing — after all, Michelangelo must have “wasted” a lot of marble while carving his statue of David.
Where others might see waste, Looptworks — a Portland-based upcycling company — sees opportunity. In other words, Looptworks has found a use for the marble resting on the master’s floor.
Looptworks doesn’t harvest its materials from the Earth or from beasts of the field; rather, they get their leather, cotton, and other materials from the scrap piles of premium brands. You might think of Looptworks as a vulture on the vast savanna of the garment industry — only instead of eating rancid meat, they lovingly craft high-quality bags, wallets, and Apple device accessories.
Several of Looptworks’ products are upcycled from Italian leather discarded by the garment industry, leather discarded by Southwest Airlines, and neoprene discarded by wetsuit manufacturers. Their latest collaboration is with Langlitz Leathers, the legendary Portland leather company that’s been family-owned and operated since 1947. For nearly 70 years, Langlitz Leathers has transformed high-quality leather into truly remarkable jackets worn by the likes of Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, and countless Hell’s Angels.
Instead of allowing this high-quality leather go to waste, Looptworks has swooped in to create goods of their own. This new line, dubbed Loopt Classics, includes two kinds of wallets and three bags. By using rescued leather instead of harvesting their own, Looptworks reduces their manufacturing waste considerably. The Loopt Classics Duffle, for example, conserves an estimated 6260 gallons of water and 3.1 lbs. of excess trash.
The Feel Good Friday column encourages readers to make the world a better place with their buying power. When you purchase items from Looptworks and Langlitz Leathers, you’ll be supporting a collaboration that ultimately reduces the amount of waste in the world — definitely something to feel good about.
Click the link to browse Looptworks’ Loopt Classics.