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Rag Time


When the one of the world’s oldest textile recyclers outgrew its Massachusetts facility, the owners decided it made sense to expand just up the road.

To New Hampshire, in the Sagamore Industrial Park in Hudson.

And so we say hello and welcome to E. Butterworth & Co., which was founded in 1839. More than 170 years later, business is huge, company owner Bob Travis tells us, because since the company expanded earlier this summer, “we need twice as much space already.”

The company could have expanded closer to its Dracut, Mass. headquarters, but Bob says he likes the business climate in New Hampshire much better. He worked with business recruiter Cynthia Harrington to find a new facility and get connected with available resources.

Travis, his son, Ryan, and son-in-law Jeff Pearl, oversee the recycling of over 20 million pounds of textile waste each year – material that is kept out of the nation’s landfills and turned into rags used for industrial purposes.

The textiles come from all kinds of places – commercial laundries to clothing that’s well past its fashion era. Looking at the enormous bales of cloth, in a riots of colors, you can’t help but think that this is where old clothes go to die.

On the other hand, if it’s made of 100 percent cotton, it finds a different kind of purpose. Those fibers are sent off to a mill in Ohio that manufacturers the paper used to print U.S. currency, which makes E. Butterworth & Co. a pretty neatĀ rags to riches story.

 

Lorna Colquhoun

Communications Director

Division of Economic Development

 

 

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