Brands Causes Environment Reviews

Sword & Plough: A Reveille

Sword & Plough Review
Written by Julia Eden

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.

Sword & Plough Review

Sword & Plough Founders: U.S. Army 1st Lt. Emily Núñez Cavness and her sister Betsy Núñez

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.

Sword & Plough Review

Chad Romero, U. S. Navy veteran and Sword & Plough sewer constructs S&P Dopp Kits and Totes. He served in the U.S. Navy as an ABHAN Aviation Aircraft Director on the flight deck of the USS Pelelui

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).
Sword & Plough Review

Since launching in 2013, Sword & Plough have sourced more than 25,000 pounds of military surplus such as tents, sleeping bag covers, uniform fabric, military spec canvas and nylon, which would otherwise be discarded. These surplus materials are combined with other military grade fabrics to create S&P products.

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.

Raining Rewards

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.

Sword & Plough’s Green Signature Tote Bag, Grey Wool Handbag & Blue Signature Rucksack

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.

About the author

Julia Eden

With a passion born in rivers, Julia Eden has spent the last decade crusading for the environment. Educated in fashion design and English Literature, and skilled in dance, she is dedicated to finding the information needed to live a new and better life. While not quite a Luddite, she would very much like to live in a cave with a wolf and an internet connection.

1 Comment

  • It also describes their roles, with Emily as the determined sword that cuts through challenges, and Betsy the plough, who s a creative people person. He also believes the made in the USA label is also important. People are tired of things being imported, he said, and want to support jobs in the U.S.

Leave a Comment