Millions of pounds of plastic waste is created globally every year. With only a small portion being recycled at facilities, the rest is sent to landfills.
The creators of Wolven Threads decided to do neither, and put recycled plastic into the fabric of their clothes.
Wolven Threads is a sustainable brand that gives back to the earth and to the community.
Founded by Kiran Jade and Will Ryan, the line uses recycled plastic bottles to turn designs into a reality. From their proceeds, a portion goes to providing yoga lessons to at-risk youth through the non-profit organization Families Supporting Families.
The fabric used in Wolven Threads is made from certified recycled polyethylene terephthalate (RPET) and is a canvas for their designs.
“It’s always frustrating when we have a customer who is really excited that the leggings are made from recycled plastic bottles, then she’s got a plastic bottle in her hand and she’s not going to start using a reusable water bottle,” Ryan said.
Since starting the company, Jade and Ryan planned to create a brand on the basis of sustainability. As a result, an important part of their clothing design is the aspect of incorporating recycled bottles.
Ryan said that it was important to create a clothing line that is sustainable and helps people understand environmentalism.
“Green is not an industry, it’s an approach,” said Craig Meyer, a Pierce College environmental science professor. “Every company is doing something, and if you’re using energy you’re having an impact. A green company would be one that takes steps to minimize its impact as much as possible.”
Since starting the line, it has been about incorporating their lifestyle into clothing pieces and promoting an empowering way of living through transitional fashion.
Each piece’s design reflects geometric patterns found in nature and the yogi mentality of free-spiritedness. Jade and Ryan are yogis, which is a term used to describe a person who avidly does yoga.
Jade started practicing yoga during her sophomore year of high school. When in college, she decided to become a yoga instructor.
“I was pretty unhappy with school,” Jade said. “So, I was looking for something else to satisfy me. Yoga instructor classes were a nice way to switch gears out of school.”
The idea of living a life that is always moving is a concept that is integrated into Wolven Threads’ designs.
“From the beginning, the brand has always been transitional from beach to brunch to a night out with your friends,” Ryan said. “It’s hard to summarize it in just a few words, but just the millennial lifestyle of casual, comfortable, versatile and functional.”
Although Wolven Threads is an online store, the line often visits music festivals such as Wanderlust, where they sell their designs and promote environmentalism.
This passion for the environment is why Jade and Ryan take the time to educate customers they meet at events.
At festivals, Jade and Ryan interact, get feedback from customers and meet fans of the brand.
Ryan said that hearing customers’ reactions to the company’s pieces and seeing his designs being used around the world is the most gratifying part of the job.
“We see people on the Metro or walking around downtown wearing our clothes,” Ryan said. “At the beach we’ve seen our swimsuits being worn in Tulum, Mexico. Then we have our whole network of friends consistently text messaging us photos of like, ‘oh, I saw this person on the street in New York wearing your clothes.’”
Despite Wolven Threads being exclusively online, the brand is given the ability to have a global reach when they share their message.
However, it is not only the customers who have come to love the brand. Wolven Threads has a group of ambassadors who work to promote the fashion line.
Ambassadors are people who educate customers on the importance of sustainable fashion and get people excited to wear clothes Wolven Threads releases.
“It is very difficult to wear all those hats and at the same time as we grow,” Ryan said.
Coming solely from a background of design, Jade and Ryan now run the entire company. From wholesale to marketing, the two work on it together to produce clothes that capture their brand vision and quality.
Despite the challenges that come with creating and managing an entire fashion line, the two have been able to expand their business into the community it is now.
Ryan believes that their impact is important.
“These little choices that really don’t require a ton of effort can make a big difference over time,” Ryan said.