Still Building America: Manufacturer uses leather reclaimed from Detroit auto industry
Pingree Detroit makes handcrafted footwear, bags and accessories. These are created from high-quality leather, which was reclaimed from the Detroit automotive industry. Initiator Jarret Schlaff started out with a desire to help unemployed veterans, who wanted to do meaningful work and earn a living. At the same time, Schlaff aimed to create sustainable alternatives to everyday products such as shoes and bags. He found the answer in making footwear from reused materials.
To realize sustainable products the founders went out to find materials they could reuse and turn into durable shoes. To do this, they started out using duct tape and tire treads before learning the craft of shoemaking, using leather. The Detroit automotive industry is the source of their materials, which is a sustainable way of using leathers that would otherwise end up in landfill. By 2023 Pingree Detroit wants to produce products that create zero waste and have zero carbon emissions.
The strength of leather and its durability and versatility that make it possible to use the material for many different applications; from car interiors to shoes. At times, like this case of Pingree Detroit, it can even be used again.
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