Public Thread is doing together what cannot be done alone.

Public Thread is a Michigan based company working with and designing around upcycled materials to create artfully crafted products.

We launched in June of 2016 with the dream of building a worker owned company that could make high quality, small-batch products in Michigan.  Public Thread has gone far beyond our humble kitchen table beginnings, serving individuals and companies in our state and across the U.S.  We have a global reach through our partnerships and a passion to design unique products that serve people, the planet and support living wage jobs. 

Now in 2023 we have transformed into a 501c3 nonprofit organization that will allow us to work more deeply in education, training, upskilling and workforce development. 

We aim to support the array of design talent in our community and help bring more upcycled products to market across industries.


Public Thread upholds a triple bottom line approach, prioritizing people, planet & responsible business. We are transforming waste into beautiful products that honor the people who make our products, and use textiles that are all around us. We design products that can be used for multiple purposes so that you can buy fewer things, that can do more. We are building a strong value chain, so you can feel good about the products you buy.


“I want to honor the people & process of making.”

Prior to starting Public Thread, Janay worked for more than 13 years in the public and nonprofit sectors on community-level systems change. Her work was in various public, nonprofit and community systems focused on designing effective community responses for children and families.  As Public Thread was launched, it was always the goal to build a worker owned business in the marketplace. This was intentional. We have a triple bottom line mission and we are a for-profit business.  We did this to honor those who make our products, care for the environment in the process of making clothing and accessories, and establish a creative space for social justice businesses to work together to solve problems and change systems  together. This is why we named the business Public Thread - because public means doing together what you cannot do alone.  Thanks for joining us on our journey to help catalyze new thinking, partnerships and change for deeper impact in our communities. 




Upcycled Textiles

Our products are crafted from a wide variety of upcycled and reclaimed materials sourced from within our community.  Keeping usable textiles out of our landfills and giving them a new life, gives us life!


Made in the USA

Everything we make is designed and sewn in Grand Rapids, Michigan by Sewists that are paid living wages. We are helping to grow this industry, and the building of U.S based cut & sew manufacturing with a strong value chain at its foundation.  


Based in Community 

We work to not only make beautiful products with surplus textiles from within our community, but to also support an inclusive creative economy, and work with local organizations to support systemic change across multiple industries.