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Bon Iver x Looptworks - Vimeo

 

After numerous shows, Bon Iver was left with excess merch from previous tours. But they didn't want it to go to waste, so they turned to Looptworks.

We are all connected through music, and it has the power to break down barriers and to overcome any distance between one another. It’s an expression; through music, through art, and in all aspects of being a band. Instead of throwing things away, they’re preserving them, without waste, and providing hope for a cleaner future.

The Bon Iver x Looptworks Upcycled Collection is made using excess merchandise and upcycled polyester. Rather than producing the same thing from virgin material, each upcycled item helps protect our natural resources and conserve energy.

Each Packable Backpack Saves

95 Gallons of Water

Each Hip Pack Saves

6 Gallons of Water

Each Pillow Saves

20 Gallons of Water

 Check out our entire line of Bon Iver x Looptworks merch available here.

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For over 13 years, Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest has hosted an annual fundraising gala, "Power of the Purse," featuring handbags and purses made from local designers. As part of the event, each unique piece is auctioned off in the end with all proceeds going directly to Girls Inc.

As a part of this years POP, Looptworks joined forces again to create another bag. Each purse is typically assigned to a single celeb in Portland, but we were chosen as designers for this year’s Traveling Purse, a bag that will travel every week to a different local celebrity.

Check out our bag's journey so far!

 



Our interpretation of the traveling purse ended up taking the form of a backpack that could be utilized by any professional woman. Using durable, upcycled leather from Langlitz Leathers, the design gives a slight nod to female strength.

The inspiration behind our traveling bag is unity. When traveling, one takes their original self and joins it with a new foreign force, thus integrating each side. And in the end, through complexion, they create harmony.

However, during development, we furthered our efforts in harmony. Through compromise and change between our in-house designers, we created a unity of ideas. From design alterations to material selection, our team wanted to create a backpack that demonstrated strength and empowerment all with a classic look (thanks to the use of Langlitz Leather).

FEATURES:

  • Outside exterior zipper-pocket
  • Inside felt laptop sleeve
  • Pencil pocket
  • Two adjustable, foam-padded leather back straps
  • Fabric: Langlitz Leather
  • Hardware Color: Antique brass

Check out our previous POP bag The Calvin, designed alongside Grimm star Claire Coffee. Click here to read more on The Calvin, and check out our backpack at the POP Gala on April 12th at the Downtown Portland Hilton from 4:30-9:00pm. Get your tickets here, but get them now (it’s almost sold out)!

 

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In honor of Earth Month, we wanted to highlight a few of our fellow certified B Corporations. We are proud to be part of a growing B-Corp community here in Portland, and wish to continue growing the movement. These businesses help us reach our collective goal of becoming a sustainable city that continues to strive towards a progressive and environmentally conscious city.  

If supporting local businesses with values that align with your own, here are a few Portland based businesses dedicated to utilizing business as a force for good.

  • New Seasons Market - A community oriented supermarket that focuses on local ingredients and products as well as environmental responsibility. Their core values include taking care of the planet, growing community, and supporting the regional economy, among others.
  • Bambu - This company focuses on crafting sustainable homegoods and dinnerware with the environment in mind. Gone are the days of plastic cutlery and paper plates, Bambu utensils have a modern aesthetic with a practical approach that make environmentally responsible dining a reality.
  • Hopworks Urban Brewery - A brewery with a mission beyond beer, HUB functions as a community meeting place and a business that strives to connect with its surroundings. Donating 1% of their proceeds towards a different organization every month, Hopworks also frequently sponsors local events to give back to the local Portland community.
  • Nossa Familia Coffee - Friends of the brand as well as a fixture of the Portland coffee scene, Nossa uses environmentally friendly roasting techniques as well as farm direct coffee sourcing methods.
  • A to Z Wineworks - Committed to Commerce with a Conscience, A to Z focuses on increasing female empowerment and raising up under represented individuals as well as community growth and development. With 100% of their grapes sourced here in Oregon, this company is dedicated to improving the way that we work.

While Seattle leads the way in the development of sustainable cities in the US, it is notable that the two runner-ups also fall along the West Coast (San Francisco and Portland). We are doing whatever we can to catch up to our European sustainability leaders, but we can always do more.

Portland certainly has the potential to grow into the Pacific Northwest’s hub for sustainability and environmentally sound business practices. With the assistance of our supporters and partners, we are well on our way to setting an example as a sustainable cityscape fighting for a greener future.

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From the very start, Looptworks was founded to use business as a force for good. Our goal: to aid in bringing an end to waste. Towards that end, we've strived only to manufacture products using materials that already exist. 

A side effect of utilizing pre and post-consumer materials is the preservation of water and air. 

By avoiding the use of virgin made materials through upcycling, water is conserved. In addition, the use of excess materials extends their usable life, diverting these textiles from the waste stream, when they would have ended their journey in landfills or incinerated. Both are undesired ends, which result in polluting the air. Even more concerning — in addition to the resulting air toxicity, it has a cumulative effect on climate pollution, contributing to climate change.

2018 Natural Resource Conservation by the numbers

Water: 5,592,666+  gallons of water conserved
Excess Diverted: 8,878 lbs of materials diverted from the waste stream

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Accomplishments and Partnerships

2018 was a banner year for Looptworks, with some significant events taking place. Our partnership with Delta Air Lines has gone on record as one of the largest Textile Diversion Programs to date. 

Working with teams at Delta on a company-wide collection program, over 350,000 lbs of retired uniforms and materials were collected.

Working with non-profits that provide job training and employment to adults with barriers to employment, the materials were sorted into one of three streams: donations, upcycling and downcycling. Usable clothing was donated to the Salvation Army, while we upcycled viable materials, transforming it into the Delta Upcycle Project Collection. (click here to learn more) 

Besides the monumental launch of this initiative, we continued our partnerships with Southwest Airlines, continuing to transform retired leather seat covers into new bags and travel accessories: the In Flight Collection.

We also launched partnerships with Royal Robbins, Patagonia, the University of Oregon and all 30 NBA teams to transform pre and post-consumer materials into new collections of upcycled products. 

New Retail Workshop location, additional partnerships, bigger impacts

In the latter part of the year, we moved into a larger retail/ workshop space and have brought on additional staff.

Our new location allows us to host visitors more frequently, and we have a number of workshops and open houses planned for 2019 so we can share our processes and passion for sustainable manufacturing.

 

Carbon offset shipping program continues

In 2017 we partnered with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, also known as BEF, to initiate a pilot program to reduce the impact of shipping goods. When checking out, customers are presented with the option to offset the carbon impact of shipping a product. In our first year, 12 carbon offsets were purchased, removing 26,000 pounds of carbon.

This year this number rose substantially, with 36 carbon offsets purchased by the end of the year, helping cancel out 78,540 lbs of carbon.

 

Offsetting our impact: B-Corp Recertification

From the beginning of Looptworks, we have had goals to offset our environmental impacts as a company. The B-Corp assessment asks companies for their Greenhouse Gas Emissions in 3 scopes. This year, Looptworks was able to calculate our impact in terms of Scope 1 (direct, natural gas emissions) and Scope 2 (indirect electrical emissions). Scope 3 is much more detailed in measurement and documenting our impact in this area has been identified as an area for improvement. In order to measure our impacts and find offsetting solutions, Looptworks works with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (B.E.F.) which is an Oregon-based non-profit organization that empowers businesses to be in balance with the environment through a full suite of products, programs and custom solutions that help address a company’s environmental footprint. Through B.E.F., we’ve purchased carbon offsets to neutralize the impact of our electricity and natural gas usage. By partnering with B.E.F. Looptworks has offset 13,228 lbs of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent of emissions associated with 15,905 vehicle-miles traveled.

 

References:

The National Academies Press: Waste Incineration Overview 
Gaia — Burning Plastic: Incineration Causes Air Pollution, Dioxin Emissions, Cost Overruns

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The design of the classic duffel bag has come a long way since its initial inception as a military issued carryall. Early iterations took the form of a top loading cylindrical hold all bag with a drawstring closure. These bags were practical, but since their inception, they've evolved to take on a number of forms.

Nowadays, duffels have been created to take on a variety of scenarios - the weekender bag, carryall, roller bag and the gym bag all have a place and purpose.

When the time came to craft our own take on the duffel bag, our goal was to create a timeless classic. We work to intercept quality materials in order to divert and minimize waste in the world, so choosing a durable material that could stand the test of time and be offered with a lifetime warranty was paramount.

We found it in Langlitz Leathers. A local, family owned business based in Portland, just down the road from our current headquarters, they specialize in creating custom motorcycle jackets. It turns out a material worthy of saving your skin on the road makes for an extremely durable (and badass) duffel bag.

Now we had our material, it was time to turn our eye to the form.

Many duffels are designed in a cylindrical shape which is pleasing to the eye, but smooshes all of the contents of your luggage. A boxy, rectangular shape keeps all of your clothing and items organized, but can be awkward to rest against the body when carrying it.

We found a happy medium in the shape that a form that was a mix of the two; a triangular shape that is wider at the base and tapers up towards the top allows the bag to be filled efficiently while maintaining its structure. The bag can then be easily closed (we all hate those sticky, stubborn zippers) and thrown over the shoulder for an easy carry with shoulder straps or carry handles.

All leather Looptworks Duffel Bags utilize durable brass hardware, in addition to time tested YKK zippers. The brass clasps and hooks complement the high grade leather used in the bags and are as visually stunning as they are lasting. Additionally, the zippers run from end-wall to end-wall of the bag rather than simply across the top. This allows for full access into the bag with no effort required.

Our leather varieties vary, based on where we find it; the In Flight LUV Duffel is crafted from leather repurposed from retired Southwest Airlines seat covers. With years and thousands of air miles logged, they're fantastic companions for the weekend warrior with an affinity for aviation.  Paired with a Looptworks Luggage Tag, these bags will have heads turning wherever your travels take you.

The leather on the Weekender matches the pattern present on the vintage seats, and is the ultimate way to broadcast your love for the airline. Coming in at 22W” x 10.5”H x 10.5”, these bags will easily qualify as a carry on item for your next flight. Pick up your own and hit the runway here. To read more about how we constructed this limited run of bags, click here!

A recent addition to the Looptworks collection our packable travel collection is a useful complement for any traveler. Packing into their own stuff pocket, these bags can be stored easily but expanded when needed.

Whether embarking on an international voyage or a weekend ‘gotta-get-away’ trip, the Packable Duffel Bag is a handy addition. Featuring an external pocket for smaller items and an internal pocket for packing the bag into a compact toiletry bag sized package, the Package Duffel can be utilized for trips to the gym, instantaneous river outings, and weekend expeditions. Capable of fitting into a gym locker and taking up minimal space in the trunk of a car, the Packable Duffel is a great option for gathering your gear. The ability to fold into itself makes the duffel a souvenir collector’s best friend, as it can fit into any suitcase on the way to the destination, and unfold to easily carry goodies back home. The Duffel is constructed with quick-drying, upcycled polyester ripstop material from outdoor legacy brand Royal Robbins, ensuring that your gear arrives with you safely.

 

We are confident that you will be satisfied with whichever Duffel Bag that you decide on, and will enjoy giving these unique, upcycled textiles a second life.

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The design of the classic duffel bag has come a long way since its initial inception as a military issued carryall. Early iterations took the form of a top loading cylindrical hold all bag with a drawstring closure. These bags were practical, but they were anything but pretty.

Nowadays, duffels have been created to take on any scenario - the weekender bag, carryall and the gym bag all have a place and purpose.

Looptworks Leather Duffel Bags walk the fine line of sophistication and practicality by using high quality, full-grain leather backed by a unique story. Our hyper-portable Packable Duffel Bags offer the same comfortable form factor as their leather varieties, with an additional element of convenience. As always, our duffel bags are constructed with upcycled materials in an effort to minimize textile waste while giving a new life to excess fibers.

Many duffels are designed in a cylindrical shape which is pleasing to the eye, but smooshes all of the contents of your luggage. A boxy, rectangular shape keeps all of your clothing and items organized, but can be awkward to rest against the body. The happy medium lies in the shape that we use for all of our duffels. A triangular shape that is wider at the base and tapers up towards the top allows the bag to be filled efficiently while maintaining its structure. The bag can then be easily closed (we all hate those sticky, stubborn zippers) and thrown over the shoulder for comfortable ease of use.

For those who pack light, a suitcase can be overkill - our duffel bags can hold all of the essential items, and are supple enough to stow away in an overhead compartment or be tucked underneath a seat. The leather is soft, but it sure is durable. Our leather duffel bags are designed to last a lifetime (and then some!). For those longer trips, a duffel bag paired with a suitcase and a backpack is always a complimentary combination.

   

All leather Looptworks Duffel Bags utilize durable brass hardware, in addition to time tested YKK zippers. The brass clasps and hooks complement the high grade leather used in the bags and are as visually stunning as they are lasting. Additionally, the zippers run from end-wall to end-wall of the bag rather than simply across the top. This allows for full access into the bag with no effort required!

The In Flight LUV Southwest Airlines Duffel Bag is an ideal companion for the weekend warrior with an affinity for aviation. This limited run of bags are constructed with pre-conditioned, upcycled leather from retired Southwest seat covers with a vintage feel. These bags are a one of a kind piece of aviation history, at a fraction of the price of a designer duffel bag! Paired with a Looptworks Luggage Tag, these bags will have heads turning wherever your travels take you. The leather on the Weekender matches the pattern present on the vintage seats, and is the ultimate way to broadcast your love for the airline. Coming in at 22W” x 10.5”H x 10.5”, these bags will easily qualify as a carry on item for your next flight. Pick up your own and hit the runway here. To read more about how we constructed this limited run of bags, click here!

For those looking for the ultimate durability, our rugged Loopt Classics Duffel Bag comes through in spades. The James Dean of duffel bags, this bag is as elegant as it is vigorous. The Loopt Classics Duffle is constructed with upcycled leather from motorcycle jacket industry leader Langlitz Leathers, and is the most durable and sophisticated way to store your belongings. This leather is tough-as-nails, and it will maintain its performance for generations to come. Pack light and travel heavy by picking up your Loopt Classics Duffel here.

Whether embarking on an international voyage or a weekend ‘gotta-get-away’ trip, our Packable Duffel Bag is here to help. Featuring an external pocket for smaller items and an internal pocket for packing the bag into a compact toiletry bag sized package, the Package Duffel is a go-to for trips to the gym, instantaneous river outings, and weekend expeditions. Capable of fitting into a gym locker and taking up minimal space in the trunk of a car, the Packable Duffel is a great option for gathering your gear. The ability to fold into itself makes the duffel a souvenir collector’s best friend, as it can fit into any suitcase on the way to the destination, and unfold to easily carry goodies back home. The Duffel is constructed with quick drying, upcycled polyester ripstop material from outdoor legacy brand Royal Robbins, ensuring that your gear arrives with you safely.

Our duffel bags are the smartest looking solution for your “from work to gym” dilemmas, and can be used for any variety of activities. Large enough to fit a day or two’s worth of clothing and accessories, yet compact enough to easily stow and toss around, our duffels do it all!

Our leather duffel bags are covered by our Loopt4Life warranty. These bags will hold up and perform for you throughout the years. The longer a product lasts, the less waste that we see in the long run. That’s why we offer our Loopt4life guarantee on these bags, our ironclad promise that our products can be trusted to last a lifetime.

We are confident that you will be satisfied with whichever Duffel Bag that you decide on, and will enjoy giving these unique, upcycled textiles a second life.

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Every year when the snow thaws and the sun begins to peek out from behind the clouds, we look forward to daylight savings time and springing our clocks forward one hour. It’s time to put those Netflix marathons on pause and get outside!

Portland, Oregon is filled with a wide range of easily accessible outdoor activities, whether you're a visitor to our city, or a seasoned local headed out for a close-to-home adventure. We're surrounded by water and forests that offer plenty of things to do whether its the weekend or you're just getting off work.

Here are 5 of our favorite activities for enjoying time outside!

1. Swim in the Willamette River

Thanks in part to activism by the Human Access Project and other environmental advocates, the water quality of the Willamette River is approved for summer swimming most of the year. 

With a river running straight through the city, there are plenty of opportunities to swim or dip your feet. And in the summer, the heat remains present through 5pm and beyond - what better way to cool off while skipping out on traffic than a nice swim?

If you're looking to mix things up even further, renting a stand up paddle board or kayak is a serene yet lively activity that can be relatively dry (if you don’t fall off!) while enjoying the sensation of floating on the river. Even better, paddle boarding and kayaking through the center of the city provide stunning views of the Rose City that you wouldn’t be able to see on land. 

Our favorite spot: the docks off the Eastbank Esplanade off SE Clay (one block off SE Hawthorne Blvd)

Amy and Carlos enjoy dipping their feet at the Eastbank Esplanade dock. Pictured with Looptworks Packable Travel Backpack and Duffel Bag.

2. Explore the Wetland Wildlife

Take some time to enjoy the sunlight at Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge. Spanning 141 acres, this floodplain wetland is an ideal location for picnics, doggy dates and early evening strolls. This refuge is one of Portland’s last marshland locations, and is a terrific habitat for wildlife, including more than 175 species of birds. Don’t forget your binoculars! If birds aren’t your thing, there is an abundance of wildlife in Oaks Bottom that you wouldn’t ordinarily see in other refuge locations. Nutria and beavers populate the backwaters, and salamanders, newts, and frogs can be found year round by the aptly named Tadpole Pond. 

3. Go for a bike ride

With a network of neighborhood greenways crisscrossing the city, Portland is a friendly place to explore by bike. In addition to being a fantastic method of exploring the city, it has a remarkable side effect: it's great exercise!

If you don't have a bike or a friend you can borrow one from, the Biketown bike share program features 1,000 bikes at over 100 stations across downtown and several neighborhoods and is convenient and affordable. Take the scenic route to your destination to explore new neighborhoods and the different quadrants of Portland, or ride over one of our many bridges to get a new perspective on the River City.

4. Tour Washington Park

Head up to Washington Park for access to an abundance of activities great for the entire family! A forest in the heart of the city, this park is home to the Oregon Zoo, the Japanese Garden, Hoyt Arboretum, and more. Accessible by foot, bike and public transit, this park has everything that needed for an entertaining day out in one of Portland’s favorite attractions.

Make sure to check out the calendar at ExploreWashingtonPark.org to stay up to date on the latest events in the park!

5. Visit a Farmers Market

It’s no secret that Portlanders love local produce. And what better place to explore seasonal offerings than at one of the many Farmers Markets! With a market in just about every neighborhood, they're a great place to meet with up friends and family to spend an afternoon. Be sure to bring along a bag to properly store goods, and you’ll be all set! (our favorite items for this are our packable travel bags, which are small enough to tote in a jacket pocket stuffed into their own stuff sack)

Find more info on the locations of our favorite outdoor markets here. 

Bonus: Visit the Looptworks Retail Workshop

Here’s one more fun activity (tooting our own horn) visit the Looptworks Retail Workshop and get a tour of how we upcycle excess materials into new products and see what we’re upcycling next!

These are just a few of our favorite activities outside for taking advantage of the sunlight. In order to store swim trunks or a towel along with your day to day belongings, our packable backpack definitely comes in handy.

Please feel free to comment what you most enjoy about Portland below!

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Have you ever wondered how we transform retired clothing and textiles into functional and stylish accessories? When Delta Airlines partnered with us to repurpose 350,000 lbs of retired uniforms, we wanted to make sure to create a special collection out of the iconic air-wear.

What Do You Do With 350,000 lbs of Uniforms? - Delta Air Lines + Looptworks - Vimeo


Shop the collection here!

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Let the games begin! The 2019 NBA season is heating up, and just in time to showcase love for your team, Looptworks is officially debuting our collaboration with the NBA featuring upcycled fan gear crafted from retired, authentic jerseys.

The NBA has partnered with Looptworks and tasked us with repurposing these excess jerseys in order to give them a second life. Each item in our NBA collection is upcycled from authentic NBA replica fan jerseys, all made in limited edition batches here in Portland, Oregon.

 

Where do excess jerseys come from?

When a player has been traded to a new team or their jersey is retired, what happens to all of the unique jerseys with their name and number on them? For example, last year when Lebron James moved from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Los Angeles Lakers, Cavaliers jerseys bearing Lebron’s name and number could no longer be sold.

 

However, thousands of these jerseys have already been produced and were ready for sale. So what happens next? Instead of throwing them away, incinerating them or putting them into storage indefinitely, they were shipping to Looptworks and our non-profit partner here in Portland. They are then deconstructed and reborn as backpacks, pillows and waist packs, a process known as upcycling.

This process happens every season, but by upcycling the jerseys, we're reusing these jerseys and keeping what was special about these materials intact, and giving them another chance to be worn by fans.

 

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To our fans that love our Southwest In Flight LUV Convertible Tote, thank you for making it one of our most popular bags, and we have some good news too! They are now back in stock.

If you’ve been waiting for the next round of in-stock totes, now’s your time to strike. Get yours before they’re gone!

   

But did you know the Convertible Tote is actually quite difficult to put together? Our tote is made from retired leather Southwest Airlines seats, so it’s already lived its first life. It’s gone through a lot on board Southwest’s planes, and it’s traveled across the world.

“It’s pretty difficult. It’s not easy. It’s already lived a pretty long life, so it’s quite stretchy,” said Looptwork’s Product Line Manager Alex Kramer.

Because of the stretch, sewing becomes more difficult as some pieces might shift around and be hard to stitch together correctly.

However, difficulty didn’t stop us from creating something of higher quality and value. We’re experts in upcycling, and we put in the work to give the leather a second life and to create a tote perfect for Southwest fans!

In fact, our tote went through a few phases of redevelopment to create the best version we could.

“We redeveloped it twice to make it even better than before,” said Kramer.

From design to production, some changes were necessary to create a solid tote. We wanted to make sure we were creating something exceptionally excellent!

The Southwest Convertible Tote continues to be a fan favorite, and you can read more on the rest of the collection here, and to pick up yours, click here!

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