Business Cards Are Made From Cotton T-Shirt Scraps

©. MOO

Printing company MOO brings back an old-fashioned way of making paper using fabric waste.

In the olden days, people made paper from leftover fabric, but as wood pulp became cheaper and more accessible, this traditional way of papermaking fell by the wayside. Now a printing company called MOO is hoping to bring back fabric-based paper with the launch of Cotton, a line of unusual business cards.

These cards are made from 100 percent cotton fabric, which comes exclusively from T-shirt offcuts; in other words, it’s the unwanted material that’s left over after a shirt is cut from a roll. Turning this fabric waste into paper diverts it from landfill and creates a wonderfully textured, smooth yet tough paper that takes any kind of ink. Because only white T-shirt fabric is used, the card is naturally white and does not require further bleaching.

For this project, MOO has partnered with the Mohawk paper mill, a fourth-generation family-owned business that does all manufacturing within the United States. “Taking a bold stance on the environment, Mohawk became the first U.S. paper mill to match [all] of its electricity with renewable wind power and the first U.S. premium paper mill to shift toward carbon neutral production.”

The following short video explains more about the Cotton paper-making process and why it makes sense to substitute a waste product for virgin resources. As Richard Moross, CEO and founder of MOO, said, “It’s obvious and super crazy at the same time" -- a valuable lesson in how to use materials that are available to us, particularly those that are part of the fashion industry, the second most-polluting industry in the world after oil and gas.

The business cards aren’t too expensive, either, priced at roughly 50 cents per card.