This week’s episode of the Zero to a Million Podcast with Zach Rego features Nathan Rothstein, Co-Founder of Project Repat. It takes 700 gallons of water just to produce one t-shirt. This reality of wastage, combined with consumerist buying habits of shirts, results in massive environmental damage.
Project Repat aims to reduce this damage by upcycling t-shirts into quilts. They have grown significantly since bootstrapping the business and Nathan shares some key learnings they made since starting.
He shares how employee ownership of Project Repat helps create a successful brand and how they used Groupon as their go-to-market strategy. Nathan also shares how they leveraged Shopify as their main marketplace and continuously tinker with Facebook Ads to get in front of their target market.
Finally, Nathan also stresses the importance of capturing email leads. For a company that sells a niche product, it is critical to nurture interested buyers over the course of a few months until they are finally ready to make a purchase.
03:04 Upcycling as a solution to t-shirt manufacturing waste
05:25 Groupon as Repat's go to market strategy
07:39 Creating American textile jobs in NC and Texas
10:51 Growing with Klaviyo and Shopify and focusing on lead capture
17:07 Others tools and owned channels for success
19:56 Experimenting and nurturing tried and tested social media channels
23:55 Appreciating the work of selling quilts and transforming local economics
25:10 Connect with Nathan
04:19 "What we found was one of the most eco-friendly things you could do was reformat them or upcycle them into a new product cause that's not adding any new water to the waste stream. You're not making anything new, you're just upcycling."
09:19 "We also work in Austin, Texas with a nonprofit that employs immigrants and refugees and they make the quilts as well. So we've really tried to build in our mission through our supply chain. And it may not be the reason that people buy, but we know that every time there's a purchase, it's creating value in the world."
18:19 "It's a mistake that I see a lot of e-commerce companies making early on is not focusing on email lead capture as soon as possible."
22:42 "I think our story was much more interesting early on when we were just trying all over the place, trying to figure everything out. And now it's a story of spreadsheets and analytics and looking at week over week results, which is not the best podcast story, but it's the reality of an e-commerce business."
You can connect with Nathan in the links below:
- Website - https://www.projectrepat.com/
- LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/nathanrothstein/
- Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/projectrepatusa/