Since our launch in 2013, Sword & Plough has worked to achieve authentic and measurable social impact in the veteran community with our repurposed bags and repurposed clothing. After less than two years of operation, our upcycling company has made important steps towards our quadruple-bottom-line goals: people, purpose, planet and profit donations.
When it comes to social impact, we believe that transparency is essential. This is why we include the following detailed information about our social and environmental impact on our website.
At Sword & Plough, social impact is not just something we talk about. Social impact is literally written into the founding documents of our company - it lies at the core of our products, our brand and our identity. We measure and track our progress on key social goals, and invite you to click and explore the impact tabs below to learn more.
Sword & Plough supports and creates veteran job opportunities within our own company and also within our suppliers and partners. Additionally, we support veteran entrepreneurship by partnering with veteran owned businesses. Sword & Plough is proud to support veteran employment in the following ways:
+ Our leather goods are manufactured by a small, veteran-owned family business in Melbourne, Florida.
+ We work with a Florida based bag manufacturer that is veteran-owned.
+ Our fulfillment center, APO Box, is a veteran-owned and operated business.
+ S&P hired a full-time Director of Operations from the Army, who was subsequently able to leverage her work experience at S&P to secure an excellent position with a major government contractor.
+ The Director of Operations at our zipper supplier is a 21 year veteran who served in both the Air Force and Army.
+ The Warehouse Manager of our primary manufacturing facility in Colorado served in the U.S. Navy.
+ One of our T-shirt screen printers, based in Oklahoma, is owned and operated by an Army veteran.
+ Sword & Plough has employed two U.S. Air Force veterans and seven U.S. Army veterans as fashion models.
+ We have worked with a leather cutting and leather equipment supply partner that is owned and operated by a veteran.
+ Our Repurposed Pocket Tees are produced through a pilot veteran job training program started by Krys Manufacturing in Philadelphia.
+ Since 2013, Sword & Plough has created online job postings to recruit veteran sewers and quality assurance positions for one of our manufacturers in Colorado. We have secured interviews for numerous veterans, resulting in three paid positions for veterans: a full-time sewing position for one female veteran of the U.S. Navy, a part-time sewing position for a male veteran of the U.S. Navy, and a full-time quality assurance position for a male veteran of the U.S. Army (military police), with the possibility of promotion to a quality assurance management role.
+ Sword & Plough attended the 2015 Hiring Our Heroes job fair in Denver to recruit veterans for our manufacturing and warehousing partners in Colorado. Those partners are currently interviewing veterans for roles in quality control and quality assurance (QCQA), fulfillment, warehouse operations and sewing.
+ All Sword & Plough long boards are made by our partners at KOTA Long Boards in Denver, which is owned by a U.S. Navy veteran and employs two additional veterans in full-time manufacturing roles.
+ Sword & Plough contracts with two active duty soldiers in the U.S. Army for product design and prototyping services.
+ Sword & Plough made a job offer for a strategy and business development role to a U.S. Navy veteran and graduate of Notre Dame School of Business.
+ The founders of Sword & Plough are active on the ACP Advisor Net – a national professional network for veterans in which S&P founders offer mentorship and career advice to help veterans launch and build careers.
+ Sword & Plough chooses to do its banking (and related financial services) with a regional bank that has shown strong support to the veteran community. The bank employs 78 veterans in nine states. Locally in Colorado, the bank employs four U.S. military veterans. We are proud to work with a local bank that tracks and values its employment of military veterans, and connects with the social mission of Sword & Plough.
+ Our primary investor, Alan Hassenfeld, is a veteran of the United States Air Force.
+ Our CEO currently serves in the U.S. Army as an active duty 1st Lieutenant based in Ft. Carson, Colorado.
+ S&P founders offer entrepreneurship advice and mentorship to veterans with new business ideas.
Here's what a few of our veteran employees have to say...
CHAD ROMERO I served in the U.S. Navy as an ABHAN Aviation Aircraft Director on the flight deck of the USS Pelelui. I'm a proud sewer for Sword and Plough, specializing in DOPP Kits and Totes. I believe the best thing about S&P is there commitment to repurposing goods and to working with Veterans! I find a lot of fulfillment in my sewing because I love watching people's reactions when I deliver great quality work. I also love that my work allows me to be an artist and that I have a direct hand in seeing a project through, from pieces to a great final product.
DIETER SCHNEIDER I went into the U.S. Navy immediately after high school and was in from 1967 to 1972 as a Hospital Corpsman, HM2 (E-5). I then went to the University of Colorado immediately after my service. I can say without reservations that my time in the Navy was the most beneficial of my early years and helped a troubled young man to grow up and stand on his own. I did not have any direction in life and the time also helped with developing my self-confidence. I was able to go to the university primarily due to the GI bill, since none of my family were in a financial position to help with my education. I help to support the manufacturing of some of the Sword and Plough products, working primarily with the sewers. When first introduced to the S & P brand, I was initially impressed with the story behind the brand and the people. Since then, I have been even more impressed with the people and the product and the quality they demand of both the raw goods and the workmanship expected from all of those involved in Sword and Plough! The fact that they strive to encourage vets to be involved and the use of military repurposed materials has further inspired me. There was obviously a great deal of thought and planning that has gone into the product, from its conception to the production and finally the delivery to the end user. I am proud to know the people involved and to be able to work with them. - Dieter Schneider (Inventory Control & Account Manager)
Sword & Plough encourages any job-seeking veteran to send his or her resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can try to help secure an employment opportunity either internally or within our expanding supply chain.
Sword & Plough aims to bridge the civil-military divide through messaging, branding and outreach. Co-founders Emily and Betsy Nunez grew up at West Point and various U.S. Army bases, and Emily went on to serve as an officer in the U.S. Army in Arizona, Colorado and Afghanistan. Through these experiences, Emily realized that her civilian friends and peers often did not understand the core aspects of service, patriotism and sacrifice, which motivated Emily and the service men and women around her in the Army. Sword & Plough bridges this civil-military divide through the following measurable activities:
+ Sword & Plough co-founders Emily and Betsy often speak publicly on the topics of veteran employment and the civil-military divide. Emily and Betsy have spoken at the White House, the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Harvard Business School, and many other prominent venues to raise awareness about veteran issues. Recently, our partner organization Got Your Six published this speech by Emily Nunez Cavness, which has reached more than 225,000 viewers with an important message about the civil-military divide.
+ Sword & Plough delivers veteran-related messages through our products. S&P has delivered more than 5,000 products to customers spread throughout the United States and the world. Each product carries an information card describing our social impact initiatives for closing the civil-military divide and supporting veterans and veteran organizations.
+ Sword & Plough reaches more than 25,000 subscribers and followers through social media and direct mailings. We leverage these communication channels to convey meaningful stories about service men and women. For example, Sword & Plough ran a yearlong campaign featuring the stories of servicemen and servicewomen to better explain the goals and sacrifices made by those individuals.
+ Sword & Plough sponsored a public service announcement (PSA) on July 24, 2015 regarding fundraising for veteran support services including post traumatic stress (PTS) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). The PSA was expected to reach tens of thousands of listeners in Colorado and Wyoming as well as online listeners. The announcement aired on KOA (850 AM), which is one of Colorado's leading news and talk radio stations, and the home station of the Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies.
We repurpose military surplus and employ environmental manufacturing processes whenever possible. Sword & Plough consistently repurposes military surplus such as tents, sleeping bag covers, uniform fabric, military spec canvas and nylon, and any other material we can secure. Since launching in 2013, we estimate that we have sourced more than 25,000 pounds of military surplus, which would otherwise be discarded. We combine these surplus materials with other military grade fabrics to create our products. By repurposing textiles, we do our part to reduce the huge quantities of water, energy, fertilizers, pesticides and emissions involved in manufacturing new textiles.
In addition to up-cycling surplus fabrics into our products, we also employ environmental manufacturing processes such as 100% domestic sourcing of all fabrics and leather in order to reduce fuel consumption and emissions during transport.
Sword & Plough donates 10% of after-tax profits to organizations that support veterans. In particular, we look to support veteran employment, veteran physical and mental health, and civil-military understanding.
Sword & Plough has selected the Got Your 6 Campaign (organized and run by Be The Change, Inc.) as our primary giving partner. The Got Your Six Campaign creates significant and measurable impact in six key areas of veteran civil reintegration:
In addition to directly supporting veterans through charitable partnerships in each of these six “pillar” areas, Got Your 6 also partners with leading Hollywood studios, networks, and talent agencies. Together with leaders in the entertainment industry, Got Your 6 bridges the civil-military divide and promotes an image of veterans as neither “heroes nor charity cases,” but quality members of society with valuable skills and contributions in the civilian workforce. This initiative is a powerful force for reshaping stereotypes and misconceptions about the veteran population.
You can learn more about Got Your 6 by visiting their WEBSITE.
Sword & Plough has also made financial contributions to the following veteran-focused organizations:
+ Team Red, White & Blue
+ Green Vets Los Angeles
+ Brat Pack 11
+ Feeding Our Vets
Sword & Plough is also proud to support charitable organizations by donating product to be auctioned in fundraisers. Our product donations have helped recipients raise thousands of dollars through blind and live auctions.
The majority of our product donations go to organizations that directly impact veterans. S&P also donates product to events that can raise general public awareness about veterans’ issues and the civil-military divide. To date, we have donated over $25,000 worth of product to the following charity fundraisers and auctions:
+ Operation Finally Home
+ Bob Woodruff Foundation
+ 3rd & Goal Foundation
+ Puppy Jake Foundation
+ Warrior Canine Connection
+ Fort Carson Giveaway
+ Lone Survivor Foundation
+ Veterans Call Launch
+ Paramount Strength & Conditioning
+ Ms. Veteran America 2015
+ Minority Women Veteran Organization - Shero of the Year
+ Wounded Heroes Golf Classic
+ Got Your 6 Oscar Rehearsal PSAs (a series of nationally broadcasted Public Service Announcements by Hollywood celebrities to raise public awareness of veterans’ issues)
+ The Green Beret Foundation
+ Navy Seal Foundation Auction
+ Healing Warriors Program Golden Ticket Event
+ MOAA Military Spouse Symposia
+ The Headstrong Project - Words of War Gala
+ The Carlisle Barracks Spouses’ Club – Denim to Diamonds Benefit
+ Warrior 360
+ Military Officers Association of America - Military Spouse Symposia
+ De La Salle Collegiate High School - Armed Forces Shootout
+ MusiCares Person of the Year Gala
+ City Lax - Annual Fundraising Gala
+ Art Cube