If you've ever had an old T-shirt you couldn't part with, you understand the sentiment involved with this kind of apparel. Maybe you remember wearing a particular T-shirt on what turned out to be momentous occasion, such as a first date with your spouse, or perhaps you've collected a pile of them from various sporting events or concerts.
Project Repat co-founders Ross Lohr and Nathan Rothstein started out by making random upcycled T-shirt tote bags and scarves but customers kept asking for T-shirt quilts instead. To undercut competitors such as Campus Quilt Company, the duo decided to sew T-shirt panels together and back them with Polartec fleece, instead of using traditional batting and interfacing.
"In February 2013, we sold 6,000 custom T-shirt quilts on Groupon in two weeks," Rothstein says. "As T-shirts have become a cheap commodity, they really have become the modern form of scrapbooking."
The company processed 400,000 shirts last year, resulting in $1.1 million in sales.