Boy Scouts are best known for making fire and hawking popcorn, but the organization’s team-up with SustainU might soon make recycled apparel more American than George Washington eating apple pie on the Fourth of July. Working with the West Virginia apparel company, which makes 100 percent recycled garments in the United States, the Boy Scouts of America announced three new T-shirts derived from 100 percent recycled polyester.
Marketed under the label “Repreve,” the material comprises plastic PET bottles that are collected, melted down, and spun into new fiber without the use of crude oil. From there, SustainU works its manufacturing magic to create the end product. Instead of outsourcing the job abroad, the BSA chose SustainU to create an eco-friendly shirt that “truly represents scouting today,” according to a spokesman. The entire manufacturing process occurs within a 200-mile radius of the BSA distribution epicenter in Charlotte, NC, cutting down on shipping emissions.
Instead of outsourcing abroad, the BSA chose SustainU to create an eco-friendly shirt that “truly represents scouting today.”
“Most people don’t realize that approximately 68 pounds of clothing per person in the United States is thrown away every year, which amounts to about 10 percent of all the waste in landfills today,” says Chris Yura, CEO of SustainU. “By using Repreve in the BSA apparel, we’re delivering a comfortable, high-performance shirt that is helping to minimize the environmental impact of apparel production.”
So far, the BSA has two T-shirts (“Americana” and “Performance”) for sale, with a third shirt, “Hiker,” available in fall. Could 100 percent recycled uniforms be on the horizon? SustainU declined to comment, so we’ll peg that as a maybe.