Former University of Oregon pole vaulter and decathlon player Scott Hamlin had Olympic dreams, but was exhausted before those hopes were dashed in the 1992 Olympic trial. Today, he is working with some of the top companies in the world to realize his new dream to absorb excess materials and produce sustainable products.
Hamlin's journey began in 1993 with Adidas Americas when he was only one of 20 employees working for the German clothing company in North America. In his time Adidas, The factory will issue him an extra fabric invoice, which inspired his curiosity about the cost.
Hamlin It was found that 15% to 30% of the fabric was wasted during the manufacturing process, and the money was wasted in incinerators, landfills or third world countries, which usually wiped out local manufacturing.
Hamlin eventually worked to run the company's business in Brazil. His retail career continued at the Jockey Club and outdoor and travel apparel company Royal Robbins. Along the way He was appalled by the large amount of waste generated during the manufacturing process.
During this time, people's awareness of sustainable development and our damage to the environment is rising.
"I looked at it and thought it was an opportunity for us to make meaningful changes to the outdated industry," he said in an interview.
Hamlin founded Loopopts in 2009 in Portland, Oregon. Its mission is to achieve a "closed loop" by recycling excess textiles and transforming them into other useful goods, including bags, accessories, and clothing, a process called "upgrade recycling."
Looptworks' customers include Fortune 500 companies from almost every industry, but the business expanded to the National Basketball Association in 2016. When the Portland Trail Blazers contacted Hamlin, the jerseys they used to have been made are now considered waste.
"They came to us with four players' jerseys, and they wanted us to create something for a green game for them," Hamlin said. The NBA proactively raised awareness of protecting the environment.
Looptworks has upgraded the material with about 250 jerseys to make scarves, shoulder bags and Dopod gear. The company then sells the finished products back to the Trail Blazers, who sell these items in its team store and online.
"When the fans realized they were made with jerseys and they were one of them, they sold out all the units overnight," Hamlin said.
In the next season, the NBA attracted the wind of Loopoptworks and came to Hamlin with a larger order.
"The NBA says we love what you do in Portland and we are moving clothing sponsors from Adidas to Nike," Hamlin said. "This means that thousands of jerseys cannot sell."
NBA jerseys cannot be sold after player trades, retirements, or sponsor changes. This could mean that the league, teams and suppliers are stuck in the hundreds, sometimes thousands, of excess items.
The NBA's trade deadline is February 6, and dozens of trades have been made, including a big deal for four teams and 12 players. These transactions may bring new inventory to Loopoptworks.
After products arrive at Looptworks, it may take approximately three weeks to upgrade them to new products before returning them to customers for sale. Each partnership's revenue stream varies, but includes consulting, material collection, classification, repair, cleaning, resale, upgrades, and closed-loop research. As part of a deal with the NBA and similar partners, the league or team repurchases upgraded merchandise in wholesale form for resale to themselves.
As part of its partnership with Southwest Airlines, Looptworks can upgrade leather from seats
Such as Southwest Airlines Updated the interior of the aircraft, Loopoptworks used used leather seat covers for Create stylish wallets, bags and suitcases. Hamlin said the company came to him six years ago and said: "We have 43 acres of leather and we don't want to put it in a landfill, but we don't know what to do."
With more and more companies promising not to use landfills, Loopoptworks has achieved 300% sales growth over the past two years and plans to achieve 100% growth this year. The company is private and declined to provide specific numbers.
Looptworks also won B-Corp certification, Which means it has promised to meet certain environmental standards. More and more companies share Hamlin's mission, including retailers Nike Adidas Sustainable products become the focus.
"It's funny, we're ahead of the times. At the beginning, I was talking about upgrading bikes and people thought I was talking about cycling in the mountains."