Clarkson University student Matt Hawthorne ’19, is finding success with his company TerrApparel, a sustainable, outdoor, online clothing business that he started in the Spring of 2017. Hawthorne came up with the idea while he was a freshman living in the Clarkson dormitories.
He and his business partner, Maura Maguire ‘20, have been working closely with Clarkson’s Shipley Center for Innovation to research, enter competitions, and receive valuable feedback from business experts. Hawthorne and Maguire’s love for the outdoors is what drove them to pursue their passion for sustainable clothing.
Since winning the North Country Regional New York Business Plan Competition this year, The Shipley Center for Innovation has given Hawthorne and Maguire an ignition grant to help cover costs for the first year of operation. “This is what catapulted us from just an idea to something that was real,” says Hawthorne.
“These students are working hard to build a brand and learning how to run a successful company. Both Maura and Matt have grown so much since they started TerrApparel. We proudly support them and are excited about their future successes,” said Ashely Sweeney, Associate Director of the Shipley Center.
TerrApparel’s objective is to make sure none of their garments end up in a landfill. They have created a program called “Recycle Us.” Customers can send in their unwearable clothing for a discount on their next purchase. According to Hawthorne, the program was created “to ensure all of our products are recycled properly and that we can get every ounce of usable life out of the materials we use.” Once TerrApparel receives the clothing, they will recycle the material for you. "The Recycle Us Program is what sets us apart. Through thoughtful decision-making at every step of our product lifecycle, from creation to disposal, we have developed a product unlike any on the market today," said Maguire.
With continued help from The Shipley Center, TerrApparel plans to further develop the “Recycle Us” program, to make sure everything is being done to protect the environment in the process. They hope to see 90-95% participation rates for the program.
Currently, TerrApparel has a new product in the works, the Guardian Rain Jacket, which will be fully recyclable. Hawthorne and Maguire plan to continue expanding the types of garments they offer at TerrApparel. To see more, visit terrapparel.co.