North Carolina Economic Development Guide

2015

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"That's fundamental to all these companies — a strong sense of social and environ- mental responsibility." Often, on the back roads around Brevard, Black Mountain and Asheville, Bill Johnston and John Riddle can be spotted, riffng through the derailleurs on their bicycles, matching gear to grade. Johnston is president of Hickory- and Asheville-based Recover Brands Inc., and Riddle, a family friend and executive with Hickory-based Frontier Spinning Mills Inc., is co-owner and partner. "A lot of times," Johnston says, "we'll go out for a road ride and conduct business there." Recover Brands was born in 2010, when the idea of making apparel from recycled materials rolled out on one of their rides. After earning a degree in textiles from Raleigh-based N.C. State University in 2008, Johnston entered a sour job market, even though his father owned a mill in Statesville. So he went to work at Asheville-based Moondance Adventures, an outdoor-adventure company that caters to teens. He enjoyed being a backpacking guide, "but I was also interested in getting into a sustainable business." Lucky for him, Riddle knew how to convert plastic and cotton into yarns for apparel. Their initial idea was to manufacture retail apparel, but that quickly changed to logo-emblazoned clothing for marathons, shorter foot races, concerts and companies such as craft breweries, which are moving to western North Carolina in part for its outdoor lifestyle, which their employees and customers enjoy. "Our core product became the Recover T-shirt, a 50-50 cotton and polyester blend made entirely from plastic such as water bottles and post-industrial cotton scraps that other- wise would go into landflls," Johnston says. "The cool thing is all the color in the shirts comes entirely from the materials that go into them — no dyes. That saves water and energy." Recover, which expected sales to exceed $1 million in 2014, has about Johnston County e c o n o m i c "Your Best Route to Success" d e v e l o p m e n t We've Got the Ins and Outs of Business Covered! Johnston County is... your best route to business success. Uniquely positioned at the crossroads of US-70, I-40 and I-95 In close proximity to the nation's largest research park, an international airport and three renowned research universities Able to offer a highly skilled and educated workforce Committed to growth, innovation and outstanding service 212 E. Market Street Smithfi eld, NC 27577 Ph 919-989-5001 Fx 919-989-5178 JohnstonCountyEconomicDevelopment.com Uniquely positioned at the crossroads of US-70, I-40 and I-95 In close proximity to the nation's largest research park, an international airport and three renowned research universities Able to offer a highly skilled and educated workforce Committed to growth, innovation and outstanding service CSX Rail - north/south and Norfolk Southern Rail - east/west lines are available 3149 Swift Creek Road Smithfeld NC 27577 919-205-1232 www.JCNCED.com A ickory- based Recover Brands spins post-consumer Environmental stew- ar tant to many outdoor-gear manufacturers. provided by recover brands

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