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Stormy Kromer Finds New Way to Recycle Wool — Distributing Scraps to Artisans

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Stormy Kromer, the wool hat manufacturer in Ironwood, is finding new ways to recycle its scraps.

The company makes thousands of wool hats each day.

But with every finished product, there’s always a little bit of fabric left over.

“Every time we cut wool, we’re very efficient with the use of the fabric, but there is waste and when we’re cutting thousands of hats a day it adds up,” says the company’s president, Gina Thorsen.

In the past, those scraps of fabric ended up in a landfill because Ironwood, MI doesn’t have a recycling facility that accepts wool.

That won’t be the case anymore though.

The company is partnering with a wool mill in Minnesota to redistribute the scraps to artisans.

Thorsen says there’s a lot of interest in wool scraps for art projects and crafts.

“We started to get inquiries from individuals who were wondering if they could get some too,” she says.

The company expects to recycle or repurpose about 21,000 pounds of wool each year.

Erin Gottsacker worked at WXPR as a Morning Edition host and reporter from December 2020 to January 2023. During her time at the station, Erin reported on the issues that matter most in the Northwoods.
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