Two Pittsburgh-based companies recently teamed up to bring new sustainable bags to market that are both fashionable and functional. Moop
specializes in quality canvas bags that are made in Pittsburgh from start to finish, while Thread
transforms discarded plastic bottles from Haiti into dignified jobs and the fabric of sought-after goods.
In the wake of the Port-au-Prince earthquake in 2010, Ian Rosenberger founded Thread and Team Tassy, both of which share a core philosophy: ending multidimensional poverty by investing in the poor to create as many dignified, sustainable jobs as possible. Thread processes recycled plastic, converting it into fabric and that is eventually turned into finished goods and jobs for Team Tassy families.
“Helping other companies make their products more responsible, more sustainable and more valuable is at the heart of our mission,” says Rosenberger, who happens to be a former competitor on the hit TV show Survivor
. “We know that by connecting customers of things like bags, shoes and jackets to the poor, we can use a simple thing like fabric to help end poverty."
This industry is still among the dirtiest in the world. Even ‘sustainable’ fabric companies have a tendency to make only half of their product from recycled materials. Many times the other half comes straight from a barrel of oil. We think there are plenty of companies who are searching for more responsible alternatives that can prove their impact through every piece of the supply chain."
The two special edition Moop + Thread bags, which can be purchased on the Moop website
, are the newest additions to the product line. Moop’s Messenger No.1 and Paperback utilize Thread’s fabric as the lining, with between eight and sixteen bottles used to produce the lining of each bag.
“We are always looking for new materials to work into our product line,” says Wendy Downs, Moop owner, designer and manufacturer. “We like fabrics that have a legacy, an important history or a reputation for being the most durable. When Thread approached us with their story, we felt like it would be a good match and we started developing a fabric with them.”
Because we design and hand-manufacture each and every Moop bag in our studio, we keep our overall product offering to a tightly curated selection so we can stay on top of our daily production volumes. We’ll keep the conversation going with Thread as the project evolves.”