When Marley’s Monsters sought an innovative way to recycle production waste, St. Vinnie’s was there to apply the conservatively creative talents of its ENVIA upcycled-fashion affiliate.
Based in Eugene, Marley’s Monsters makes eco-friendly products and innovative reusable replacements for plastic and paper single-use items. As the business is built on recycling and re-use, the Marley’s team wanted to divert leftover production materials with a goal of achieving zero waste.
St. Vinnie’s and ENVIA took on that waste, designed a line of products from it, and are selling them in their respective networks and markets. It’s an Agency specialty that utilizes products from a variety of commercial and nonprofit enterprises.
“We strive to help businesses turn a waste expense into an asset th
rough upcycling,” said Mitra Gruwell, ENVIA founder and product designer. “We are working to build similar collaborative relationships with other companies that we divert waste for.”
Having filtered into much of what was once SVdP administrative offices, the ENVIA team diverts waste from St. Vincent de Paul – materials unlikely to sell due to damage or lack of demand, and recreates it into clothing, accessories, jewelry and housewares. Choice materials include foreign currency, both coin and cash, vinyl records, artwork, boots, bags and belts, textiles and more.
The ENVIA team responds to inquiries from local businesses and beyond. Among the Eugene-area businesses
that benefit from materials diversion are Lane Transit District, Strapworks, Marathon Coach, and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Other diversion partners include Wells Fargo, Williams Sonoma, and Pottery Barn.
“I believe there are three major players that will bring about positive change for our environment,” said Mitra Gruwell. “They are industry, government and the mass populace.
“The above model targets the industry player. If we
can help manufacturers perceive their own waste differently, seeing it as an asset as opposed to an expense, they will hopefully begin to make positive changes for our environment accordingly.
“Making accessible and affordable upcycled items that can replace environmentally damaging products will help bring more of the mass populace on board to effect change with their purchasing habits. Once a large faction of the mass population demand such products, government will start to institute new legislation to fall in line with popular values.
“We hope to play a positive role in bringing about these positive changes.”