Kweku Larbi dreamed up Baxter Wood. He didn’t know who or what Baxter Wooden was, however when the phrase got here to him in a dream, he knew it was the proper identify for the eco-conscious rainwear model he was making ready to launch.
Later, he discovered about Baxter Woods, a 29-acre nature reserve in Portland, Maine. It was a donation from Percival P. Baxter, a philanthropist who gave up his property inheritance to avoid wasting the land’s pure state. However the like-minded founder’s philosophy was only a completely satisfied coincidence. “I’ve by no means been to Maine,” Larbi says.
Baxter Wood, based in 2018, sells rain boots and coats made from recycled and pure supplies. Whereas eco-friendly, vegan rubber boots are changing into extra widespread, the Indianapolis-based startup units itself aside with two social applications: a purchase-funded sustainability education program in Larbi’s home country of Ghana and a brand new Buy Back program that enables customers to ship of their previous rubber boots for a $30 credit score.
Larbi grew up 10 minutes from Ghana’s largest rubbish dump, so the permanence of trash is rarely far from his thoughts. “The scent was in all places,” he remembers. “Everybody would ignore it. They’d see it and stroll previous it.”
When he arrived in Cleveland for faculty, he noticed his classmates all carrying the identical tall, clunky rubber wellies. Larbi and his fiancée and co-founder, Sarah Smith, determined to develop their very own black, lug-sole Chelsea Boot. However with trash on his thoughts, he was decided to make sustainably: from 100% pure hevea tree-derived rubber from Sri Lanka, with elastic gussets and color-blocked bottoms. (“Even if you happen to’re a minimalist, you continue to have a favourite shade,” mentioned Larbi.) They opted for an ankle peak to assist mitigate the necessity to swap out for indoor footwear when you’re out of the rain.
Likewise, the brand’s Trawler Raincoat, which launched in 2019, is a tackle the basic fisherman’s jacket. Besides Baxter Wooden’s is constructed with polyurethane-coated rPET polyester—every coat is made from 22 recycled plastic bottles. The coats are sealed and welded on the seams for a water-resistant end.
Larbi hopes to shut the loop with Baxter Wooden’s new Buy Back program, in partnership with a Michigan firm that shreds and processes previous rubber boots and turns them into sports activities turf and punching luggage. Prospects can ship again any rubber boot (not simply ones from Baxter Wooden) for a $30 credit score to the location.
“We don’t care concerning the model, if it’s a rubber boot, we’ll take it,” mentioned Larbi. “We don’t assume it is smart for a pair of rubber boots to be worn for 4 years after which stick round for 400 extra.”