Q: What is “First Mile?”
A: Where Thread Ground to Good™ begins as raw material – the plastic bottles collected by people earning their way out of poverty.
Q: Do you work with ocean plastic?
A: First Mile material has both social and environmental impact by supporting income opportunities at the collector level as well as diverting plastic waste from landfill and oceans. First Mile material is considered Ocean-Bound plastic per the definition set forth by the cross-industry working group, Next Wave.
Q:Where are the raw materials sourced?
A: The raw materials used in our fabrics and yarn are sourced from Haiti, Honduras, and Taiwan. We have licensed yarn spinners and textile mill partners in both the Eastern and Western hemispheres so that First Mile material is available globally.
Q: What does first mile membership include and how long does it last?
A: The First Mile Team:
1) Assists multinational brands in marketing and storytelling the impact of First Mile Material
2) Creates and implements impact programming to support supply chain development and research
3) Brings in NGO partners to facilitate strategic philanthropy and donor advisement
First Mile Programming helps entrepreneurs running recycling collection centers in the First Mile build and grow sustainable businesses that clean up the environment and bring employment opportunities to their communities. This programming and subsequent impact is funded by our First Mile Member brands. Membership lasts for one year.
First Mile Members receive:
Rights to use the First Mile Mark and content claim
Access to photos, video, and story-telling assets from the First Mile
Custom impact statistics based on volumes used in products
First Mile branding guidelines
First Mile website placement
Q: What information do you track and how do you verify data?
A: The First Mile team, tracks the movement of material from collection, through fabric production. We employ team members in every country we source from, who maintain up to date collection network databases and maps as well as oversee impact programming in the First Mile.
Our production and partnerships team members receive monthly reports from all First Mile approved production partners, allowing our team to record and monitor the volumes of First Mile material entering and traveling along the supply chain through to fabric manufacturing. This enables a clear view of the journey of First Mile material and assurance that all final product claims are compliant and verifiable.
Q: Can you use plastic bottles from my area or are you looking for new locations?
A: We love hearing from people who share our values and contribute to our mission, but we’ve got to be focused on impact with every move. Eventually we’d love to work with entrepreneurs in waste reclamation all over the world. Realistically, we can only provide quality work when we have a team and supply chain partners to support it, so right now we are concentrated in Haiti, Honduras, and Taiwan. That makes our search for the right “next place” a tough one, however we have scouted and are testing material from a few potential new source countries. Continue to follow us to learn about where we’re headed next!