Looptworks [ looped wurks ] noun. A Portland, Oregon based business that re-purposes and upcycles abandoned, pre-consumer and post-consumer materials into limited edition products.
At Looptworks, the only thing we scrap is the typical way of doing business. We're a design brand on a mission: to use only what already exists.
Upcycling is the process of transforming materials destined to be destroyed into new products of higher value and environmental purpose. Reusing waste without destroying it takes far less energy than breaking it down to be remade into something new.
How is upcycling different from recycling?
We're glad you asked. In fact, we wrote a whole blog post about the differences between upcycling, downcycling and recycling.
The short answer? The process of upcycling adds value to the materials. The other decreases its value. Most often, what we consider recycling is actually downcycling, where the material or product is transformed into something with less value. Regardless of how you approach it, any form of reuse, whether it's upcycling, downcycling or recycling, is good for the environment, and all practices reduce our impact upon it.
How does upcycling save water and air?
The problem: There is a continued growth of solid waste and in the overuse of Earth’s resources, particularly water. In textile waste alone, the average apparel factory discards about 60,000 pounds of perfectly usable, pre-consumer textiles every single week.
The solution: Upcycling excess and reducing the amount of waste. The benefits of upcycling include resource conservation, saving energy, and saving landfill space. When you buy an upcycled product made from discarded materials, you are directly offsetting the water and energy needed to make new materials from scratch to produce the same product. And in the process you are helping to conserve resources.
Interested in how we calculate water savings? We wrote an entire post dedicated to this subject. Click here to read more on how Looptworks products conserve water, and how we calculate water conservation.
In order to discover materials in need of rescue, we work with a global product-sourcing network to find, recover, and develop products.
Our design process is unique; as opposed to starting with a blank slate, we start with the materials. Employing factories that employ fair labor practices, we aim to create timeless, useful and functional products capable of providing years of service.
Where does "excess" come from?
Ever wonder how all this excess material is generated? The fashion industry is the biggest culprit. Click here to read more about how the textile industry generates so excess it has to throw it away.
Did you know over $500 billion is lost every year due to product underutilization and the lack of recycling in the apparel industry alone? When seeing the added wasted resources our livelihood depends on, like water and clean air, it's clear that it's time for a new system. We're Looptworks, a certified B Corporation, and we help brands and manufacturers regenerate textiles and products into value for the business, for people, and for the planet.
1. What type of excess material do you take? We upcycle textiles and apparel. We also work with leathers, polymers, rubber and foam materials.
2. How can you help us avoid landfill? We guarantee a 100% landfill avoidance on both pre and post-consumer materials.
3. What types of partnership do you offer?
Upcycling - we reuse your materials and create new products of higher value.
Downcycling – we guarantee landfill avoidance of your excess materials to extend their life by turning it into insulation and carbon neutral energy.
Circularity - we offer a range of other repurposing methods (including repair, donation and closed loop research) to extend the life of your excess material. This includes full 360 circular yarn-to-yarn conversion.
4. What are your MOQ's and volume capabilities? For upcycling, our minimum is 144 pieces per style of product design. For downcycling, our minimum is 2,000 lbs. per project, and we prefer a steady stream of material. We have scaled programs in the hundreds of thousands of lbs. to avoid landfill.
5. What is your lead time? We typically produce upcycled orders in 60-90 days. Projects can go faster depending on the volume and our pipeline. Contact us to learn more!