Essential Pittsburgh
1:04 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Pittsburgh-Based Thread Recycles Bottles and Brings Jobs to Haiti

Jenna Knapp pulls thread from a spool. The mint green thread is made from recycled plastic bottles from Haiti. Green plastic bottles create green fibers that can only be dyed darker colors. Clear plastic bottles creates thread that can be dyed any color.
Jenna Knapp pulls thread from a spool. The mint green thread is made from recycled plastic bottles from Haiti. Green plastic bottles create green fibers that can only be dyed darker colors. Clear plastic bottles creates thread that can be dyed any color.
Credit Ashley Murray / Allegheny Front

When local photographer Ian Rosenberger saw garbage piled in the street and thrown into canals untouched by a stretched public works system, he was moved to do more than take photos.

He jotted in his journal how it would be good to turn Haiti’s trash into money.

From there, he created a social enterprise company called Thread which turns plastic bottles into sewing thread, and offers Haitians work in a country where the unemployment rate is 40 percent. The Allegheny Front’s Ashley Murray reported on Thread’s home base in Pittsburgh.