Up-cycle, You-cycle, We-cycle

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Filled with the rush of entrepreneurship, we used the most obvious source of dress shirts around… Melina and I raided our husbands’ closets.

Realizing this was not a sustainable sourcing model or a way to prevent arguments, we found another source.

The next time I went to our local dry cleaners, I asked about the abandoned shirts they would normally donate. I purchased a couple dozen this way for $2-$3 (to cover the cost of the cleaning).

Next, we scoured dozens of thrift stores in Marin and San Francisco. Jackpot. Burberry, Brooks Brothers, Faconnable; thank you tech boom!

We soon found ourselves with a growing stack of designer shirts.

Really though, most of these shirts would have resold, so we decided to see if there were any socially conscious options available.

After some research, I reached out to the perfect local non-profit, Image for Success. They provide a personal shopping experience and donate entire wardrobes to people transitioning back into the workforce. They have dozens of shirts donated to them per month that they can’t use (shirts with a monogram, or a small tear or blemish that make them unsuitable office attire). The shirts? Still Brooks Brothers, Borrelli, and Boss. It was a huge win-win partnership for us both.

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Next week: manufacturing

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