You know those T-shirts you have sitting in your closet? You know, the ones that have so much sentimental value you can’t throw them out even if you don’t wear them anymore? Project Repat, a Boston, Massachusetts-based social enterprise, can help preserve your T-shirt memories by turning your favorite garments into blanket, circle scarf, tie, or tote bag. Founded by Ross Lohr and headed by Lohr (CEO) and Nathan Rothstein (president), Project Repat was born out of two uncompromising principles: all of the company’s products would be upcycled and those who make it would be in the US and paid a fair and living wage.
Project Repat’s flagship product is the T-shirt blanket, which can be double-sided or backed by Polartec fleece. Blanket sizes range from 3 ft x 3 ft (9 shirts) to 5 ft x 6 ft (30 shirts). When you order a T-shirt blanket, Project Repat will send you a pre-paid envelope which you drop off at the post office after you’ve placed your tees inside. Special requests such as placement preferences and designating which sides of the shirts are used for the front of the blanket are accepted, but cost an extra $50 as they slow down production and logistics.
In an effort to keep jobs within the country, all of Project Repat’s products are made in the USA by people who work in healthy working environments and are treated with dignity regardless of background. Production partners of the company include NuPath, a Woburn, MA non-profit that employs individuals with disabilities; Opportunity Threads, a Morganton, NC worker-owned cut and sew cooperative; and Precision Sportswear, a Fall River, MA lean manufacturing company.
Aside from helping lift people out of poverty by creating fair jobs, Project Repat also aims to prevent millions of excess textiles from ending up in landfills.