“Quadruple bottom line” is the trendy phrase du jour. In addition to meaning “one more butt,” it adds purpose to people, planet, and profit.
What that actually looks like varies. For bag company Sword & Plough, it means hiring veterans to turn old military fabric into nature-toned bags out of Moonrise Kingdom or L.L. Bean.
The company takes its name from a Bible verse about weapons being transformed into peaceful tools: “They shall turn their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into sickles.” Two sisters founded Sword & Plough in 2012, one of whom was a cadet in ROTC while studying at Middlebury College. The dual influences of military and sustainability are clearly reflected in the company. As Emily and Betsy Nunez write on the Sword & Plough site:
By recycling and repurposing military gear with a fashionable touch, and working with veterans, we create sturdy and sophisticated products whose sale will empower veteran employment, reduce waste, and strengthen civil-military understanding.
Adam Smiley Poswolsky recently highlighted their massive success in his book The Quarter-Life Breakthrough, noting their Kickstarter campaign raised $312,000, more than 15 times the $20,000 goal. Writes Poswolsky:
To date, the company has supported 35 veteran jobs, recycled over 15,000 pounds of military surplus, and made over 1,700 stylish bags for consumers all over the country.
Rock on. Fewer swords and more ploughshares, plz!