What is recycled cotton?

The process starts with pre-consumer textile waste; this ranges from errors during the weaving process to damaged/leftover finished goods – this would all normally be sent to the landfill or incinerated. The material is then ground up and re-spun into yarn. With this process there is no need to re-dye the yarn and it comes in many colors. The yarn can be used create a multitude of new products!

3 environmental benefits to recycled cotton:

  • - Recycled cotton doesn’t require land use (no watering, no new pesticides/fertilizers)
  • - Saves water & pollutants by not re-dying yarn
  • - Incinerator & landfill reduction

Green 3 offers many items in their product line that are made of recycled cotton, including hand warmers, scarves, mittens, hats, throw blankets and sweaters. All of these items are made with 75% pre-consumer recycled cotton and 25% acrylic. They are machine washable/dryable and super soft!

Recycled Cotton

Belly Ballot – Giveaway Prize!

BellyBallot Logo & Link

Belly Ballot Logo & Link

Green 3 recently participated in Belly Ballot’s weekly giveaway.

Belly Ballot is a way for parents to create a ballot of 5 baby names they are thinking about. Once the ballot is created the parents invite their friends and family to cast their vote. Belly Ballot has a weekly giveaway prize for the parents that gets the most votes! It’s a fun and interactive way to get everyone involved using social media!

Green 3’s giveaway prize was our Monkey Throw and matching Wild Thing Onesie!

green 3 - Monkey Throw and Wild Thing Onesie (BellyBallot Prize)sm

Good-Bye Jack Frost – Hello Spring Blooms

It’s officially spring and we’re getting anxious to see the first few signs of garden life around here! If you’re ready to get back to gardening, here are some spring gardening tasks for planting and caring for your spring blooms.

  1. If you didn’t prune back your perennials last fall, cut down the foliage. You can put the trimmings into your compost. Once you start to see new growth at the base of your perennials, it is safe to start pruning them down to ground level.  For shrubby plants with woody stems, it’s best to wait until the danger of a hard frost is past. You can find your expected last freeze date of spring by entering your location on the Dave’s Garden website.
  2. Rake mulch from your flower beds that are planted with bulbs before foliage appears. Refresh mulch in your other planting areas after the soil warms.
  3. You can gain a few extra weeks of flowers from your annuals this summer if you start them from seeds indoors in early spring.  Before planting them outside, harden them first by placing them outside in a sheltered area one week before transplanting them.
  4. Divide and/or transplant summer- and fall-blooming perennials as soon as their leaves appear. They’ll bloom better when they’re not crowding each other out. You can then transplant them into other areas of your yard – or share with your neighbors and friends. If you are transplanting them, be sure to water them thoroughly after they are planted.
  5. Plant new flowers and plants according to your area’s growing calendar. Plant perennials by early spring. Bulbs can be planted sporadically over the spring for continuous blooms later in the season. Most cool-season annuals can take a little frost. But make sure to plant warm-season flowering annuals after the danger of frost has passed.

Since the weather in Wisconsin is still snowy and cold, we’ll have to wait awhile before our spring flowers start to poke through the still-frozen ground. So until the first blooms of spring show themselves, we’ll have to be content with looking at the flowers on our new Botanicals tees!

Geranium Tee from green 3    Cornflower tee from green 3
Geranium Tee and Cornflower Tee

Poppy tee from green 3    Wild Fennel tee from green 3
Poppy Tee and Wild Fennel Tee

10 Upcycled Tees Ideas

Have a bunch of old t-shirts at home? Before you dump them, try upcycling them! At green 3 we love to make products out of fabric that otherwise would have been discarded. And tees are no exception! Here are 10 ideas of items made from upcycled tees.

10 Upcycled Tees Ideas from green 3

Tee Blanket

New to our Spring-Summer collection is our Tee Blanket (shown above). This soft blanket is made from reclaimed and excess t-shirts (double-layer). It is also part of our Aspiro program that provides job and life skill training for adults with cognitive disabilities. Each throw features at least three assorted/random graphics.

Pieced Jersey Pants

Pieced Jersey Pants made from upcycled tees

Pieced Jersey Pants made from upcycled tees – by KoJoDesigns

The ladies at KoJoDesigns created this pair of cozy and comfy pants for a little boy. They used thriftstore bound t-shirts; but you could use any tees that you have at home. You can find their tutorial for this project here.

Braided Belt

Braided Belt made from Upcycled Tees

Braided Belt made from Upcycled Tees – by Delia Creates

Cut 4 strips from a t-shirt, braid them, and finish off the ends with D rings. The full tutorial can be found on the Delia Creates website, along with a modified version of a headband.

Manatee Pillow Pet

Manatee Pillow Pet made from upcycled tees

Manatee Pillow Pet made from an upcycled tee – by We Lived Happily Ever After

This adorable little manatee was made from one extra large t-shirt. Instructions and a free pattern can be downloaded from We Lived Happily Ever After.

Tee Skirt

Skirt made from upcycled Tees - by green 3

Skirt made from upcycled Tees – by green 3

Our Reclaimed Americana Tee Skirt is made from reclaimed cotton tees and has a fold-over jersey waistband.

Throw Pillow

Throw Pillows made from upcycled tees

Throw Pillows made from upcycled tees – by Jess Abbott

Don’t worry if you outgrow your favorite tee. You can make a throw pillow out of it, like Jess Abbott did! Her instructions can be found here.

Upcycled Tee Wreath

Wreath made from upcycled tees

Wreath made from upcycled tees – by The Eco Chic

The Eco Chic turned two large shirts (plus a foam wreath form and scissors) into a wreath! Use different colors for the different seasons.

Tee Panel Scarf

Scarves made from upcycled tees - by green 3

Scarves made from upcycled tees – by green 3

Our Tee Panel Scarves are made from reclaimed tees, cut into panels and sewn together.

T-Shirt Gym Bag

T-Shirt Gym Bag made from upcycled tees

T-Shirt Gym Bag made from upcycled tees – by Erin Currie, eHow

This fun and functional duffel bag is made from upcycled t-shirts and is the perfect size for taking to the gym. Instructions can be found on the eHow website.

Dog Toy

Dog Toy made from upcycled tees

Dog Toy made from upcycled tees – by Lana Red Studio

Lana from Lana Red Studio created this adorable dog toy from old, stretchy tees. Her sister’s puppy is one lucky dog to have such a cute toy!

We found TONS of additional ideas for upcycling t-shirts; but these 10 ideas are a good start. Have you made something creative from your old tees? Let us know! We’d love to see what you came up with!

Social Responsibility: The Journey Continues

social responsibilityAs Green 3 enters its eighth year we not only continue to grow our business, but our vision and perspective continues to grow as well. When we launched Green 3 we focused on environmental responsibility, and for that reason our products featured organic and recycled fibers. At that same time we knew we wanted our products to be made in the USA. After 2009, that initiative was intensified as we began to better understand the economic responsibility of keeping and creating jobs here at home. In 2010 we met the fine folks at ASPIRO in Green Bay, WI. In less than thirty minutes of our first tour of the facility, we knew that not only was ASPIRO absolutely the proper partner from a business perspective, but that companies like ours had a responsibility to support this organization’s efforts. They opened our eyes to social responsibility, and from that point forward we began developing products that could benefit those less fortunate than ourselves.

Since that time ASPIRO has become our “go to” partner for any and all types of projects. We consciously develop products that suit their client’s needs, as well as challenge them with projects that any other manufacturer would think twice about. Not once have we been disappointed. We look forward to not only continuing our relationship with ASPIRO, but growing it.

This fall we introduced our Snowflake Tee. Each and every snowflake was hand cut by an ASPIRO artisan. New in our spring/summer collection is our “Love You” tee. This organic cotton tee is adorned with an appliquéd heart that is as unique as each individual you hold in your own heart. Every heart appliqué is cut by hand, is unique, and reflects the creativity of an artisan with a disability who is learning job and life skills at ASPIRO. The garments come with hangtags that feature the artisan’s image and signature (shown below), and a QR code that links you to a video about this amazing program. You can view that video here:



We have had many interesting stops along the way to this particular point, and we look forward to the journey ahead.

To learn about ASPIRO and their amazing mission, you can visit their website at www.aspiroinc.org.