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Looptworks Working to Replenish the Colorado River — with Your Help

Fresh from its successful collaboration with Southwest Airlines on its LUV Seat collection of bags and accessories upcycled from the airline’s leather seats, Looptworks has launched an email campaign to enlist its customers’ help in restoring the Colorado River. 90 percent of the Colorado's water is diverted to supply irrigation and municipal freshwater for almost 40 million people not only in Colorado, but in western states including Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, Arizona, Nevada and California — which as you may have heard, is running a little dry these days. For every recipient who forwards the campaign email to two friends, Looptworks has offered to restore 500 gallons of water to the Colorado; since its launch on Friday, the campaign has helped restore over 15,000 gallons of water to the river, as of press time.

We spoke with Looptworks co-founder Scott Hamlin about its foray into water-restoration efforts and how partnerships are key to the long-term success of its mission.

Tell us more about the campaign to replenish the Colorado River. How does it work?

This is part of Change the Course, a freshwater restoration campaign designed to redefine how we value, use and manage freshwater. We have a partnership with Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) and we wanted to extend our efforts to give back to the Change the Course efforts, to do our part to help with the drought in California.

How does your offsetting partnership with BEF work?

Your products depend on partnerships with other industries. How do you choose partners to work with — for example, for the new Northwest Collection?

We do a limited number of partnerships each year. Many of our materials come to us from sources that would prefer to stay anonymous. The Northwest Collection is such a case — a manufacturer came to us with significant excess materials and wanted our help to find a solution. When we create collaborative partnerships with brands, they have to come from a place of authenticity. We are a Certified B Corporation and we look to partner with brands to not only solve an excess or waste problem, but also to market and tell the story to a larger audience. The goal is to educate and inspire more companies and people to re-evaluate what they deem as waste. I encourage your readers and the participants of SB ‘15 San Diego to stop by our booth in the Activation Hub or attend one of our discussions, to learn more about the amazing outcomes we have achieved with some of our recent partnerships. If any of your readers are not attending, they can always reach out to us at [email protected] to start a conversation.

What other initiatives/products/partnerships do you have in the pipeline?

We are currently working on an exciting partnership with Lush Handmade Cosmetics — we are making new aprons for all Lush store employees out of upcycled twill fabric. We were able to design a style that not only saved water on the initial making of the apron, but also cuts the water use on washing them in half and extends the life of the apron, so they need 20 percent fewer aprons overall. And we're working on another project with the Boeing Stores, which we will be able to share details about in August or September.

What does the future of the textile industry look like to you?

The future of the textile industry looks like a closed-loop system — thus our brand name, Looptworks! We are working hard on innovations to help contribute to realizing that future for the whole industry, as well as using design to transform the current excess that already exists into amazing products.