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Memory quilts from upcycled T-shirts

April 1st, 2020 / By: / Swatches

Since 2012, Project Repat has made 400,000 quilts, which translates into 9.6 million upcycled T-shirts kept out of landfills. Photo: Project Repat.

Sometimes, the idea for a new product comes about in an unexpected way. Take Project Repat, for example. Company cofounder Ross Lohr was stuck in a traffic jam in Nairobi, Kenya. After two hours, he discovered the jam was caused by an overturned produce rickshaw pushed by a man wearing a T-shirt that said, “I Danced My A** Off at Josh’s Bar Mitzvah.” The T-shirt got Lohr thinking about shirts that are sent overseas by American companies and the amount of textile waste in landfills. So Lohr and his business partner, Nathan Rothstein, began working with Kenyan artisans to turn castaway T-shirts into products like bags, scarves and refabricated T-shirts. 

But Lohr and Rothstein quickly discovered that while people liked their products, they weren’t rushing to buy them. What their customers were
asking for was an affordable T-shirt quilt. So, Lohr and Rothstein founded Project Repat, a company that creates high quality, affordable T-shirt quilts with minimal carbon impact at factories in the U.S.

Customers choose the size quilt and the color of fleece backing that
they want, and ship their T-shirts to Project Repat; the company turns
the shirts into personalized keepsake quilts. For more information,
visit www.projectrepat.com.