In 2022, we officially sold our 2 millionth product. Recover started in 2010 with the mission to make the best, most environmentally friendly and socially responsible apparel possible, and to educate and inspire those around us to live and work for a sustainable tomorrow. Reflecting back and looking forward, we are ever more inspired by our positive impact adding up, where we are, and what’s in store for 2023.
So, what does 2 million Recover products add up to?
$300,000+ giving to our nonprofit partners
Recover has always supported non-profit partners doing work that aligns with our mission. Eight years ago, we officially became a 1% For the Planet Member, committing to give 1% of annual sales to environmental nonprofits.
Recover President Bill Johnston described, “The give back piece is the biggest driver for us as a company; we very much believe in supporting our nonprofit partners. We’re excited to continue to grow and expand our reach so we can grow that $300,000 non-profit giving number, and double it and triple it and make an even bigger impact that way.”
In 2022, Recover sponsored events such as the Catawba Riverkeeper monthly clean-up series, which was a new event for us that we’re excited to keep expanding in 2023. Recover supports a number of other environmental non-profits, including Mountain True and the Watauga, Green, and French Broad Riverkeepers, and the Gazelle Foundation. Our non-profit partners are highly vetted for work that aligns with our mission and the funds Recover donates are part of the crucial resources needed for the work these non-profits carry out, which includes grassroots and community efforts for research, engagement, and activism for clean water and environmental and human health.
16 million+ plastic bottles diverted from landfills and our environment
When we first started ten years ago, a big part of our inspiration and mission was to address the global challenge of plastic pollution. At Recover, we are working to provide education and action for elimination of single-use plastics, but we also provide a solution for the plastic that is already in circulation.
Recover takes post-consumer, recycled PET (think plastic water, sports drink, and soda bottles) and we break them down and blend them with upcycled cotton into soft, comfortable, 100% recycled fabric and apparel. We have different blends depending on each product, but when you look at the total number of products that we have sold into the market, we have diverted over 16 million plastic bottles from the landfill and kept them out of our ecosystems, that’s right- 16 million.
61 million+ hours kWh of energy saved
A big part of our process in using recycled plastic and upcycled cotton is the fact that all of our color comes from the upcycled cotton, so we eliminate the dyeing process entirely, which saves a tremendous amount of water and energy. When compared to a conventional shirt, by using the Recover process we have saved over 61 million hours kWh of energy. That is the equivalent amount of energy that would be used for powering 6,100 houses in the US for an entire year.
Bill describes, “We really try to take that holistic approach to our manufacturing and make sure that we’re thinking about all of these things- energy, water, carbon emissions, local communities. For us, it’s not just about the recycled material that’s going into our products, it’s about approaching every aspect for efficiency and development that results in positive impact.”
4 billion+ gallons of water saved
Often overlooked, water use in the apparel industry is extremely high. From farming for growing materials to water-intensive dyeing processes, on average, up to 2,000 gallons of water is used to make a typical t-shirt.
Overall, Recover has saved over 4 billion gallons of water since 2010 by eliminating dyes and recycling as much water as possible in our manufacturing processes. Four billion gallons of water is roughly the equivalent of 6,000 Olympic-size swimming pools. Our water recycling program in our El Salvador facility reclaims up to 80% of water used in the manufacturing process in addition to what has already been saved by eliminating dyes.
25 Million lbs+ of CO2 emissions saved
In the age of needed action for climate change mitigation, Recover is constantly working to reduce carbon emissions. Our hyper-local supply chains allow us to make products in a really tight radius, reducing transportation and carbon emissions. When compared to conventional apparel in which supplies and finished products are shipped far and wide throughout the supply chain, we have saved approximately 25 million lbs of carbon emissions. That is roughly the equivalent of taking 2500 cars in the US off the road for a full year.
Always looking to make the best better
In 2023, we are working to grow our efficiencies in water, energy, and supply chain and expand our reach in order to grow our impact. Bill noted, “Our approach to things as a brand is that we are the opposite of fast fashion. We’re not releasing new styles, we like to build products that will last and stay with time, we like to add new items and colors here and there and keep it fresh, but for us, we stay with the tried and true and always work to improve our supply chain, positive impact, and feel and fit of our products.”
So, that’s what 2 million Recover products sold adds up to… what will 2 million more bring?