cut from a different cloth

When we first set out to create a line of modern, fresh table coverings that were as sustainable as they were beautiful and highly functional, we found ourselves in uncharted waters. The list of large-scale housewares manufacturers using recycled materials wasn’t as simple as a quick Google or Yelp search. Several years and a couple of trips around the world later, through networking, outreach, happenstance and good fortune, we eventually found our supply partners. Then the actual work began: material tests, color experiments, trial runs, printing and stitching.

Three years and many prototypes later, what started off as a fitful dream to create a placemat from recycled materials that would not shrink, fade or change shape after washing evolved into an ecologically sustainable line of table linens we think meets the highest durability and design standards on the market. Every one of our products, from placemats to tablecloths, napkins and runners are sustainably sourced from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. While we took a winding path to get to market, the road is now well lit for the future.

At BottleCloth, we are driven by a desire to bring creativity and inspiration into people's lives with everyday products that are modern, beautiful, durable, easy to care for and clean. We’re also passionate about the environment and ecology. By utilizing post-consumer materials whenever possible, we’re able to minimize our carbon footprint.

The vision behind BottleCloth began with Founder and Creative Director, Brenda Sacks, who carved a path in the sustainable table linens space where one previously didn’t exist. In the below interview, we trace her inspiration for BottleCloth.

We’re similarly inspired by people and companies who, like Brenda, through innovation and hard work, are on a mission to elevate everyday life in some way. Non-traditional thinkers and inventors. Risk takers and trailblazers. Those ‘Cut from a different cloth.’

Can you talk about the inception of this idea? Why sustainable?

My initial goal was to make a placemat that would look the same after washing as it did when I bought it. That was something I found frustrating over the years. I’d buy a lovely placemat, wash it once and that was it. It looked like a crumpled mess after washing. I was bothered by the waste of money and the effort required ironing it back into some sort of shape. I can honestly say that our product does look as good after washing and stays looking good over time. Because I’m fanatical when it comes to recycling, and so aware of the trash build up in landfills and the plastic in the oceans, I felt compelled to make a product that was either recyclable or made from recycled materials.

How did it evolve from a placemat to an entire line of tablecloths, mats, runners and napkins?

I came across fabric for the tablecloth first, so that was the beginning.

What sets your products apart from conventional table linens?

These products have amazing utility that I was never able to find in other brands. They’re incredibly durable, easy to use and maintain, and make entertaining or everyday meals so much easier. They can be spot cleaned or thrown into the washing machine and dryer and still look fresh and new. And of course, they’re sustainable. That definitely sets them apart.

What role do you see BottleCloth fulfilling in the housewares space?

We want BottleCloth to be at the forefront of a movement that utilizes post-consumer recycled products in innovative, creative ways. We will be expanding our use of recycled materials and extend our existing line into other areas of the home, like the kitchen, bedroom and living room.

Where do you draw inspiration from as a product designer?

I’ve found inspiration in the stories of innovative entrepreneurs like Coco Chanel, Steve Jobs, Martha Stewart and others. As far as design is concerned, I draw inspiration from design in everyday life. From contemporary artists like Matisse, Jackson Pollack, Franz Kline. Zen calligraphy was an inspiration early on.

How do these products reflect your lifestyle?

I entertain often in a casual way and I like not having to worry about investing a lot of time and energy in table linens. I also love something different on the table, a conversation piece, an added element of art. BottleCloth reflects all of that.

What are your entertaining go-to's?

People love and appreciate being cooked for, and it doesn’t have to be fancy. Therefore, easy is my go to. If I’m pressed for time, I’ll stick to dishes I know how to make and present well. Keeping it simple makes it easier for me.

What do you want people to take away from this product?

I want people to be happy with their BottleCloth linens. They're unique and they brighten up any table. Also, the fact that they are so easy to use and maintain, makes set up and clean up a breeze, and, the durable water-resistant fabric means you no longer have to worry about spills. Of course, the sustainability factor is a great conversation starter and you can feel good that you are purchasing an eco-friendly product.

What's your vision for a more sustainable future?

To fabricate our most common, everyday products from existing materials, thereby reducing and hopefully eliminating waste products that otherwise end up in landfills or our oceans. We have to make more products using “trash.”