The Holstee story is quite unique. “In the heat of the recession in May 2009, brothers Mike and Dave and their partner, Fabian started Holstee. More than a company, or clothes, the trio wanted to create a lifestyle. Starting in the summer of 2009 they dove head first into the world of design and production. After six months and a huge learning curve, Holstee launched it’s first line of Recycled Tees made of 100% recycled plastic bottles that were milled, cut and sewn within 150 miles of each other in North Carolina. Starting with this first round, 10% of all sales were lent to entrepreneurs in extreme poverty through non-profit micro-lending organizations like Kiva.org – a tradition they are proud to still embrace.
A few months later, Mike needed a new wallet and wasn’t finding the sort of functional and minimal design he was looking for so they decided to create their own. A few quick mock-ups and the idea of a Holstee Wallet came to life. Teaming up with an NGO in India that had perfected a method of using plastic bags collected off the streets of Delhi to create a unique 100% upcycled textile, they had prototypes in their hands a few weeks later of their new dream wallet. They made just enough for themselves and a few friends, each of whom instantly loved them. From there they decided to make a few more and sell them on Holstee.com along with their tees.
In the summer of 2010, Holstee launched a new area of their site, Curated x Holstee, following the mantra “Curating with a Conscience.” This is where the Holstee team seeks out some of the most beautiful and innovative sustainable designs and shares them with their community through their video reviews, newsletter, and shop.” Some of their other designed products are The Upcycled Wallet – made of newspapers and plastic bags collected off the streets of India, The People Pendant – made of recycled acrylic scraps from a Chicago-area sign maker, and the Upcycled line of t-shirts – shirts that highlight the lasting value of apparel.