Patagonia has always been a part of Sam Palmer and Jennifer Feller’s lives. In fact, you can argue that Patagonia is one of the most important parts of their lives. The couple met at the Patagonia store on Newbury Street in 1995, where they were both employees. Now, the company has become a crucial part of their livelihood.
A fan of the brand, the husband and wife duo always had the outdoor brand’s fleece jackets lying around their home. “We always had this box of fleece with us,” said Feller of their obsession. “It lasts forever, and you don’t really throw it away.”
As a designer and an engineer, Palmer got crafty with an old fleece one afternoon, pressing the fleece and molding it into a bowl. The bowl was cool, but what else could they make with old fleeces?, they asked themselves. It dawned on the couple that the durability and longevity of the fleece is ideally suited for iPad covers, explained Feller, and ReFleece was born.
Familiar with Patagonia’s Common Threads Program, which allows customers send the company their old fleeces, the duo partnered with the company a few years ago. Now, ReFleece literally takes all of Patagonia’s fleece from the Common Threads Program, said Feller, explaining that it’s simply too hard to break down otherwise. ReFleece just cleans it, cuts it and presses it into a new shape.
“[It’s a] low-energy piece” said Feller of the ReFleece products. “[And it] extends the life of that product before it ever has to be recycled.”
ReFleece currently has four products available, ranging from iPad cases to Kindle covers, and has plans to launch a Kickstarter next month to finance laptop sleeves. Their products are sold online, at local boutiques and in Patagonia stores nationwide, and as with Patagonia fleeces, the cases come in a huge variety of colors.
“You know that it’s been somewhere cool,” whether it’s through college or up a mountain, said Feller of the fact that they’re all old jackets. “It’s kind of cool to tell the story of a textile again and again.”
Moreover, the cases themselves can be recycled straight into your recycling bin.
With ReFleece, Feller and Palmer hope to revolutionize the way people think of products they buy in-store similar to how we’ve started to consider food we eat.
“Our goal is really to inspire people to start looking at ‘where did this come from?’ and also ‘Where is it going?’” said Feller. “It would be amazing.”
Check out photos of ReFleee’s products below, and click here to purchase their unique collection.