(NEW YORK) — Companies across the country are not letting American-made material go to waste.
The Ford auto plant in Dearborn, Michigan, is donating more than $100,000 worth of leather scraps discarded from car seats and giving them to local small businesses in Detroit.
Detroit non-profit Mend On The Move, which employs women survivors of abuse, is the recipient of some recycled leather and founder Joanne Ewald said it makes all the difference.
“Having this leather donated to us … it’s so huge,” Ewald said. “It is opening opportunities for us to create pieces that we have never done before.”
Mend On The Move empowers survivors of abuse to create and sell things like earrings, ornaments and more, all made from the used auto parts and salvaged car seat leather.
Since the pandemic began, the company said it has been able to hire two new employees. Employee Jessica Canupp said that when customers buy from Mend On The Move, they’re not only supporting small businesses, but also people.
“You are supporting people who are in need right now during the pandemic and local businesses,” Canupp told ABC News.
Another Detroit-based company, Pingree Detroit, also benefits from the recycled Ford leather. The team of eight co-owners transforms the leather into wallets, bags and more.
“We’re also honored to work alongside Ford to give these underutilized materials new life,” co-owner Nathaniel Crawford II told ABC News.
Employee and lead sewer Rayne Rose said the business opens up opportunities in the community.
“We believe that anything is possible and if we see a better way, we’ll find a way to make it happen and to make our neighborhood stronger,” said Rose.
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