We all have that crafty relative–the one that can turn a cardboard box into a home furnishing, or old pieces of metal into jewelry or art. General Motors is following in that crafty aunt’s footsteps by turning excess pieces of sound insulation and turning them into coats for the homeless.
The project all started when Veronika Scott, a student at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies, designed a garment that can be used as both a coat and sleeping bag for homeless people. The garment would have plenty of insulation and even be waterproof, and would use a large zippered piece on the bottom of the coat to transform it from coat to sleeping bag.
That idea piqued General Motors’ curiosity. As part of the production process for its Buick Verano and Chevrolet Malibu sedans, GM was cutting and installing sheets of something called Sonozorb, a sound insulating material, in the doors. It’s part of what makes the Buick Verano so infamously quiet. But GM’s supplier GDC had excess and scrap materials. The solution: use the scraps to make coat insulation. GM has since donated 2000 yards of excess Sonozorb to Scott and her organization, enough to make 400 coats.
Scott turned around and hired full-time eight homeless women to make the coats. They currently produce 150 coats a month and distribute them to homeless shelters and support organizations across the country.
This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen a manufacturer give to charity or recycle materials, nor is it the first time we’ve seen a manufacturer invest in car-based fashions–Ford recently did it with a dress based on the Focus hatchback–but it is interesting to see a manufacturer do both.
Source: General Motors