Women with Passion: TrashNTees Owner Jenelle Montilone

Women with Passion: TrashNTees Owner Jenelle Montilone

Nearly seven years ago, I was sitting at a bar (of all places) telling one of my girlfriends that I was going to make a difference in the world—to give back in a big way. I had no idea how and I had no idea when but I knew that my mission, my revolution, would reveal itself when the time was right.

Who would have guessed that my revolution would start to come to fruition in what I would consider one of the most stressful times of my life.

This mission, known as “The Watch Her Thrive Project” is definitely one of the biggest ventures I have ever embarked on. It is testing my courage, increasing my strength and filling me up with lots of hope.

Let’s just say—it has definitely brought a new perspective to my life. (I promise more details will be revealed very soon…)

So in light of my project, I decided to start a new monthly blog segment called “Women with Passion.” I will be featuring monthly interviews with women who are on a mission. These women have something to offer the world—they want to create change. They yearn to make a difference. Their desire is to help women (and men) THRIVE.

Today, I am interviewing Jenelle Montilone. She is a seriously kick-ass change-maker who I am truly honored to know. She is taking on the world in hopes to create a better planet for our children. My hat goes off to her and I am completely in support of her cause.

Let’s learn a bit more about Jenelle and her mission. Below you will find the interview I had with her.

Tell me a little about yourself and your mission.

I’m Jenelle, a creative activist and entrepreneur.  I’m passionate about family, the environment, and following your dreams. I joke that I’ve found a way to combine all the loves of my life and call it a day job. But really it’s true.

For the past 3 years, I have been encouraging and inspiring you to consume less and recycle more with my business, TrashN2Tees, where I design items made using 100% reclaimed clothing. Trashn2Tees has opened the doors for me to discuss ways that we can repurpose and raise awareness about the importance of clothing and textile recycling.

By 2013, TrashN2Tees will have diverted more nearly 40,000 lbs. of clothing from our waste stream! It wasn’t until this year that I realized encouraging & inspiring you wasn’t enough- what I really want is to instigate action. Actions to change the way we consume and create.

Why are you so passionate about this?

My love for hiking, nature, and being outdoors led me to pursue an environmental science major in college, and having children intensified my passion. Looking deep into the eyes of my firstborn, I really started to wonder what types of problems his generation would be faced with. I believe tomorrow can be better than yesterday if we live responsibly today.

  • 70% of the items in our landfills can be recycled or reused.
  • There are 1,794 landfills in U.S. and the EPA estimates they’ll be full in 20 years. What’s next?
  • 82% of the landfills tested are leaking, contaminating our backyards and air with cocktails of toxic juice & fumes.
  • The average American throws away 68 lbs. of clothing into our landfills, 95% of which can be recycled.

When did you realize you were destined to change the way we consume products? 

I wouldn’t ever say that I’m destined to change the way we consume. I’m blessed to wake up each day doing something that I love. How I got here, is my life’s journey, a road for me that includes its fair amount of pit stops and detours.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently developing a mobile app that will revolutionize the way we view our trash. Using discarded materials to create innovative, practical, and wearable works of art + change the world.

In conjunction with the app, I’m organizing the Create Change Pledge Event for November 2012—a call to action for people all around the world to repurpose 1 item for 1 day, in the US alone we could divert more 6,235,912,417 lbs. from our landfills. All this while creating new designs, mommying, and saving textiles from the landfills daily.

If you had to inspire us in just 2 sentences or less, what would you say? 

Start with the actions you can do right now, that will make the biggest impact on the most people.

How can we support you?

There are 3 days left to help fund the development of the Create Change App on Kickstarter. You can contribute $1 or more and in exchange I’ll send you some ecolicious swag including tees, totes, recycled notebooks, and more!

We’re instigating a movement to change the way we consume and create- and you can be a part of it. For updates about the Create Change Movement and TrashN2Tees follow @TrashN2Tees @CreateChangeApp on Twitter and visit www.TrashN2Tees.com.

Amazing, right? She puts a whole new meaning to the phrase “saving the planet” and because of her; I definitely look at my old things in a whole new way. Let’s help her create this App. It is truly going to make a difference.

Even $1.00 would help. So what are you waiting for?

Give back and save the planet.

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9 Comments

  1. colleen attara

    I was so happy to support Jenelle in her vision on how to create some much needed change. Her energy and vision is so, so inspiring!

    Reply
    • Kimberly

      Thank you Colleen! xo

      Reply
      • Jenelle @ TrashN2Tees

        Thank you both for your unwavering support! I am blessed to be surrounded by strong amazing womans- you are an inspiration to me as well. Raising my wine glass to bad ass woman who are ready to paint the future and create a beautiful life for all.

        Reply
  2. Michelle Medina

    Totally awesome Kimberly!!!! Thank you for sharing this!!!! I love it!!

    Reply
    • Kimberly

      Yes, I just love this initiative! xo

      Reply
    • Jenelle @ TrashN2Tees

      Thank you Michelle! I’m honored to be included in Kimberly’s new segment and looking forward to meeting and supporting more Woman with Passion.

      Reply
  3. Thea | Write Change Grow

    Hi Kimberly
    Fascinating article which really has me thinking. I am big on recycling but hadn’t really thought about the clothing textile side of things. I hate the idea of so much going into landfill and all of the complications that causes. I live in Australia so I might have to look to see if we have any sort of similar clothing recycling options here.
    Again thanks for an interesting story. I certainly wish Jenelle all the best with her amazing business.
    Cheers
    Thea

    Reply
    • Jenelle @ TrashN2Tees

      Thea,
      I’m tickled to get your gears going. Please let me know if there is anything I can help you with or any questions you may have. Thank you for your encouragement & support on my journey- but more importantly thank you for making a commitment to reduce your impact on the environment! All the best!

      Reply
  4. Jenelle

    Colleen both you and Kimberly have been such an amazing and unwavering supporters of my vision, I truly blessed to call you my friends.

    Thea,
    Please let me know if you have any questions! I would be more than happy to help you find recycling facilities or programs in Australia.

    Reply

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