The shirt off your back

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The mission of the New York City-based Institute for Sustainable Communication (ISC) is to advise communications professionals on sustainability issues.

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At a Glance

Company: Eco360 Trust / Institute for Sustainable Communication (ISC)

Director of Development: Mark Elis

Location: New York City, NY

Volunteer Personnel: 10

Year Established: 2002 (ISC)

Website: www.eco360.me 
www.sustaincom.org

Services Provided: Eco360 Trust raises money for ISC’s education program by producing T-shirts made from recycled PET water bottles.

The mission of the New York City-based Institute for Sustainable Communication (ISC) is to advise communications professionals on sustainability issues. The group also provides college scholarships to low-income students. The ISC’s Eco360 Trust campaign helps to raise money for its education program with custom T-shirts made from recycled PET bottles. 

“The e360t shirts began as a project to teach students about the sustainable use of print and digital media,” Director of Development Mark Elis says. “We redesigned the shirts with a fully sustainable supply chain, and the results appealed to both idealistic students and corporations trying to establish or protect their green reputations.”

Elis says Eco360Trust’s goal is to make its T-shirts as popular with the corporate world as Lance Armstrong’s “Live Strong” bracelets are with consumers.

He shares more about Eco360 Trust with Recycling Today:

Q: What materials or services do you specialize in? Why did you choose those?

A: We use rPET for now because it’s plentiful, prevalent and both companies and ordinary citizens can relate to the recycled plastic T-shirt. When people make a connection between a plastic water or soda bottle and a T-shirt, they are pleasantly surprised that the shirts are soft and lightweight, like any high-end sports apparel. When you factor in the benefits to the planet and education, the appeal is even stronger.


Q: How do you hope to differentiate your initiative?

A: Using recycled PET is not new, but using one recycled PET shirt to achieve five distinct benefits is innovative. Each shirt prevents three plastic bottles from being dumped in a landfill. The shirts are printed digitally so no fresh water is used to dye fabric. Each shirt prevents 8 gallons of fresh water from being polluted with the dyes and chemicals used in cotton. Third, the e360t shirts are American made with livable wages and no sweatshops. Fourth, the shirts are tax deductible donations, and our net proceeds pay for college scholarships for low-income students. Lastly, the e360t shirts are an inexpensive way for companies to keep their brand messages consistent with their green policies. We help them practice what they preach.