Recover Brands is based in Charlotte, N.C. | Courtesy of Recover Brands

Eight plastic bottles — that’s all it takes to make one T-shirt.

That’s the genesis of Recover Brands, an apparel company based in Charlotte, N.C., that is once again teaming up with Forecastle Festival as its official merchandising partner.

Started in 2009 by bike enthusiasts Bill Johnston and John Riddle, the company’s mission is to create the best, most environmentally friendly and socially responsible products possible — and it strives to inspire others to do the same.

Co-founder Bill Johnston manning the Recover booth. | Courtesy of Recover Brands

So a partnership with Forecastle, known for its sustainability practices, was an easy call.

Johnston, who serves as Recover’s president, tells Insider he worked with other AC Entertainment — the parent company of Forecastle — music festivals, and when he heard about Forecastle and its practices, he knew they could make a great team.

“The sustainability aspect was a big part of forging that relationship, as the festival has a strong connection and commitment to protecting our natural environment,” he says. “The festivalgoers at Forecastle are also really engaged with sustainability and appreciate quality products made with 100 percent recycled materials, so it makes for a great fit.”

Recover’s process involves transforming post-consumer plastic bottles and cotton from textile scraps into T-shirts, hats, socks and more. The soft, durable shirts contain no dyes or chemicals, use no wastewater, and most of the textile scraps come from the North Carolina region. In 2016, the company opened a flagship store and distribution center in Charlotte.

Need more convincing? Well, since 2010, the company has saved 1.4 billion gallons of water, 8.4 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions and 5.4 million plastic bottles that otherwise would have ended up in landfills or, sadly, the ocean.

Recover apparel is soft, durable and uses no chemicals or dyes. | Courtesy of Recover Brands

This will be Recover’s third year at Forecastle, and its products will be available at merchandise tents, and it also supplies the VIP bags and T-shirts.

Johnston says he’s looking forward to spending the weekend in Louisville for music and fun.

“I’m really excited to see Arcade Fire. I haven’t seen them since 2008, so it’s long overdue,” he says. “Outside of the music, I just love the energy and vibes at Forecastle. It’s fun to walk around and see all the vendors and artists, and generally just meet new people. Of course, it’s fun to see how people respond to our products, too.”

Forecastle takes place this weekend, July 13-15, at Waterfront Park. Tickets are still available.

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."