Clothing made from recycled plastic helps lift up the poorest Haitians

June 2, 2017 2:52 am Last Updated: September 28, 2017 6:09 am

The thousands of plastic bottles littering the streets and canals of Haiti are a goldmine for locals and U.S. company Thread, who are recycling this unlikely treasure into fabric for fashion brands.

Bottles collected by workers in some of the poorest neigborhoods in Haiti are ground into tiny pieces and exported to the U.S. before being spun and woven into what Thread calls “the most responsible fabric on the planet.”

Brands such as Timberland make use of the recycled fabric in their shoes, bags, and garments.


Founder Ian Rosenberger wants to help decrease poverty through providing dignified, sustainable jobs. He founded Thread in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake.

A company with lofty goals, touching many people’s lives.

Nadine Philippe, a bottle collection center owner in Haiti. (Thread)

“Thread has shipped nearly 200,000 lbs of recycled plastic out of Haiti to eventually be processed into fabric & turned into finished goods and jobs,” states the Thread website.

“The first time we took the fabric down to Haiti and showed it to the people who were actually responsible for making it, they saw the fabric and they were like, ‘What is this?’ ‘The stuff that we’re collecting is being turned into something beautiful?’” says Rosenberger in a video on the Thread website.

A commitment to transparency and helping people at every step of the process.

What a great way to recycle trash!