Regional Economic Development

Strengthening All Facets of Southwestern Pennsylvania

A Thread employee from Homewood receives training at the company's new cut-and-sew facility.

Creating Sustainable Jobs to Alleviate Poverty:

Thread International PBC, Inc.

Creating Sustainable Jobs to Alleviate Poverty:

Thread International PBC, Inc.

After the 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, that left more than 300,000 people dead and 1.5 million homeless, Ian Rosenberger visited the country to learn how he could help people recover from the damage. After visiting there, Ian founded Thread, a for-profit B corporation, in an effort to create as many jobs as possible in Haiti. Thread leverages the immense amounts of waste communities without adequate sanitation infrastructure produce, employing Haitians to collect, process, and transform it into fabric. The company then sells the material to major apparel brands. So far, Thread has saved over 40 million plastic bottles from landfills and oceans. Over 1,500 people earn income from the Thread collection network.

A Foundation program-related investment in the amount of $1.5 million–$750,000 payable in year one with the balance to be held in reserve and paid in the form of a low-interest loan and convertible debt—supports a cut-and-sew manufacturing facility in Homewood’s 7800 Susquehanna building, where Thread occupies 6,200 square feet, making it the anchor tenant in the building. The company has hired six full-time employees from within Homewood and plans to hire at least 11 more, training them to manufacture finished products, and offering them a pathway out of poverty in a neighborhood in which unemployment is nearly 12 percent.