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.All the materials used to create Looptworks products at one time were headed to the landfill, or worse. We intercept and utilize these industry excess materials, transforming them into new, useful products — a process known as upcycling. Our sustainable, eco-friendly products are made in limited editions, and in the process save materials from landfills or incinerators.
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.
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.
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.
We're not a typical brand. Because of our philosophy of only using only what already exists, we take a very different approach to design from other manufacturers.
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.
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.