A company in Selma has been turning farmers’ old irrigation hoses into trendy purses and flip flops for about a year.
Now, the little company is looking to expand.
The brand was started as a side business by the founders of ag recycler AJ Industrial when it was inundated with millions of pounds of green and blue hoses used to water all sorts of crops grown in the Valley. Because the hoses are a blend of rubber, plastic and nylon, they can’t be recycled and would normally be dumped in a landfill. But Heather Carpenter and her family started turning them into purses, flip flops, gym bags, wine bottle carriers and more, riding a wave of shopper interest in sustainable fashion.
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They built prototypes and formed relationships with overseas manufacturers, who make the purses in batches of 1,000. The products are sold online and are well received by customers, at national retail trade shows and at the recent World Ag Expo in Tulare, Carpenter says.
“At the farm show we totally killed it,” she says. “We’re selling product like there’s no tomorrow.”
They’re getting overwhelmed with more irrigation hose and can’t sell the purses fast enough to take in more material. If they don’t turn the hoses into other products, they’ll end up in a landfill.
Landfill Dzine is asking for $20,000 via Kickstarter to start marketing on a state or national level. The money would pay for a large-scale marketing campaign, including videos, advertising, social media and events.
The company is also open to co-branding, meaning another company’s name or logo goes on the flip flops, for example, next to theirs.
Landfill Dzine is also looking to expand its product line to make more of its current products and add new ones, such as dog collars.