By now, you’ve probably seen the viral picture (and numerous memes) of Senator Bernie Sanders bundled up at the inauguration of Joe Biden. But what may have been overlooked is the story behind his mittens. Yes, they look warm and cozy. But they are also helping the environment. That’s because Senator Sanders’ mittens were made from repurposed wool sweaters and lined with a fleece made from recycled plastic bottles.
Jen Ellis, a teacher from Vermont, crafted the mittens for Senator Sanders, not knowing he would wear them to the inauguration, or the attention they would receive. Ellis stated, “I’m really honored he wore them today….There were people at the inauguration wearing clothing from world-famous designers. Then there was Bernie, wearing my mittens.”
The viral photo joins the global conversation about sustainable products containing recycled materials. With the help of recycling innovation, many companies and crafters are repurposing goods into a wide variety of products. Everything from clothing and cabinetry, to shoes and eyewear, can be made from recycled materials.
And this push is not just coming from small businesses like Jen Ellis’. Global companies such as Ikea, Puma, The North Face, H&M, Polo Ralph Lauren and more are using recycled materials, giving new life to single-use items.
To learn how some companies utilize recycled goods, visit our Recycled Products page.