Kenai Sports, one of Apparel Magazine’s 2017 Top Innovators, has partnered with Milliken & Company on an awarded multi-year textile contract with MassCor Industries. MassCor Industries operates multiple manufacturing facilities across the state of Massachusetts, with its clothing shops serving as one of several vocational training options for inmates. Kenai developed a unique “closed-loop” textile program in which the fabric waste generated from MassCor’s clothing shops will be recycled, instead of discarded, and a purchase credit amount will be created based on the amount recycled. The credit will apply to future contract orders from MassCor of Milliken fabric.
While Kenai’s product focus is on uniforms and outerwear made from recycled plastics harvested from landfills, the company was willing to pursue other related sustainable initiatives. “We’ve spoken with a few different states, and there is a growing interest in sustainable purchasing. It just happens to be that one of the first areas most notice waste accumulation is in textiles," Kenai Sports’ Charlie Bogoian said. “While this is outside our core business, we’re happy to work with any organization looking to become more sustainable. We were very fortunate to find a great partner in Milliken that shares many of our values and has a wealth of experience.”
In 2018 alone, Kenai has already recycled more than 40,000 pounds of textile waste with MassCor Industries. Bogoian continued, “I have a strong belief that our 100 percent sustainable performance outerwear would be a great fit for police and correctional officer uniforms, not to mention the accompanying recycling program we could run would have an even greater financial and environmental impact. Strategically, we’re using this textile contract as a proof of concept for conversations about sustainable uniform purchasing we hope to have in the very near future.”