If you haven’t heard of recycling by this point, you must have been living under a rock. However, you’d be forgiven if you haven’t yet heard of upcycling. While recycling tends to involve breaking a product down into its constituent parts and reassembling those parts to form new products, upcycling is a little different. Upcycling tends to take a product, usually past its useful lifespan, and transform it into something else. For example, taking a piece of scrap paper and folding it into a paper airplane might be considered upcycling.
Open Arms was founded by Leslie Beasley of Austin Texas and transforms old t-shirts into unique shirts and scarves. She founded the company in her native Texas after encountering refugees on a trip to Uganda. Open Arms was founded to help refugees and employs them, offering them a living wage and various other resources to help them in their lives.
You can support Open Arms in their mission by shopping through their website. If you prefer to shop in person, chances are you’ll be able to find their goods, as Open Arms merchandise is now available in 50 stores across fifteen states. Through their work, they are able to breathe new life into old clothing, keeping them out of landfills, and can offer opportunities for real, positive change in the lives of their employees.