Using exclusively pre-consumer waste –- amassed at 70x the rate of post-consumer waste in the apparel industry -- to create a full range of cool original sportswear, ipod covers, laptop sleeves, and carrying bags.

Scott Hamlin





  • We take pre-consumer excess materials that are leftover from the manufacturing process, and upcycle them into items of higher environmental value, typically clothing, accessories, cases, bags, laptops sleeves, etc.

  • There is an estimated about 70x more pre-consumer excess on the planet than there is post-, which means the stuff that comes out of manufacturing out-numbers the stuff that we’re recycling as consumers

  • At the manufacturing level, that’s where things are going awry.  We [wanted to] lift the curtain on pre-consumer excess...since consumers don’t see this everyday.

  • The materials are brand new, they may have come off the cutting room floor or as bulk rolls or something like that, but if you apply design to that you can make a product that is just as desirable as a first-run product.



Design and More...

  • This flips design on its head…  It’s no longer a designer saying “Oh, I can make this..and we’ll use these materials and these materials."  No- [instead] these are the materials you have... [“You’re really embracing the creative constraints of ‘What-is “ in terms of excess material availability".]  Yes, that’s correct.

  • ["How do you get those materials as part of your supply chain?”]  That would take hours to explain.  There’s a little bit of secret sauce…. Myself and my partner have an extensive network; there’s a bit of a process there, not something you can do real quick…. We built our own infrastructure for that.

  • ["Where can we find your products?"]  At  Also nationally at Patagonia stores, some products nationally at Container Store, and at about 60 college bookstores across the country.


Personal Journey...

  • I was in the industry before. I worked for an outdoor apparel company, and I was part of the problem.  I would see the waste, but also contribute to creating the waste.  No one was asking where any of this stuff goes, it was just a cost of doing business.  I realized this had to change, and I decided I needed to be part of the solution instead of the problem.  

  • Most innovation comes from people who are within the system, and they look at it and say "This doesn’t make any sense, why can’t we do this a different way?" 


Words of Wisdom...

  • Once you’ve come up with the idea and what’s different, I would encourage people to try to execute that inside the system that already exists, ... if there is an ability and a willingness to change... From our perspective, we didn’t have that…. They were focused... and couldn’t take the time for that distraction.  In our system, it was up to us to maybe create a model for being able to do those things.  ["So you spun out."] Yes, that's what we did.



See Scott’s presentation at the GreenBiz Forum

See Scott's bio at

 “Did you know that it requires more than 400 gallons of water
to make 1 organic cotton t-shirt? Upcycle.” 


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Sue Lebeck 

  Cool Block Platform Director

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