A story starts simply, with a small pair of sisters. Emily and Betsy were surrounded by the military while growing up. The impact of this life, swaddled in soldiers, informs the sisters about how to make the most of today. Now, we the lucky civilians that we are, get to reap the rewards of their dedication to the men and women who helped raise them.
And just like the military, their mission is strong, streamlined, a true challenge:
Our mission is to empower veteran employment, reduce waste, and strengthen civil-military understanding.
By reclaiming military surplus materials, Sword & Plough combine upcycled with virgin, American-made textiles. Raw material is turned into modern bags, accessories, and jewelry, in a tip-your-hat, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume”, kind of way. Have you ever stepped off of a plane, refreshed and aglow after a luxury safari, glamping your way across the African savannah? Yeah. Me neither. But we can evoke that style – effortlessly chic, well rested, and recently adventured – with the wealth of clutches, book bags, and jewelry created by Sword & Plough.
With a business model based on encouraging and empowering veterans, Sword & Plough have an exciting list of credentials already in play:
- Co-founders Emily and Betsy hire veterans, partner with suppliers and manufacturers that also employ veterans, or are veteran owned, and donate 10% of the profits to veteran-related causes.
- Unlike design houses that often try to find a home for larger amounts of leftover textile stock, unused military textiles generally end up in landfills.
- High-quality construction combined with the durability of military-grade fabric means your bag or wallet or clutch will last a lifetime (or several).
While it appears they do primarily use chrome-tanned leathers, Sword & Plough has also partnered with groups like The Christian Workshop to bring you a selection of wallets and card holders in striking agave (turquoise) and lampone (desert purple), vegetable-tanned leathers.
In an unusual move for a sustainably-minded business, Sword & Plough also offer their loyal customers a rewards system. Gather points by making purchases, spreading the word to friends and family, or just by being born (yup – bonus birthday points), and then redeem them in the Sword & Plough store as credit. And don’t forget to enter their giveaways that pop up periodically.
At almost 4 years old now (be sure to wish them a happy birthday on April 15th), Sword & Plough is just as dedicated to their mission as day one. By putting veterans front and center, along with their upcycled military fabrics, the brand is truly an American one, doing some of the good work that needs doing, on our own shores.