GM Scrap Cars Turned Into Coats For Homeless


General Motors found a new use for bits of their scrap vehicles. They used leftover sound absorbing material from production of Chevrolet Malibu and Buick Verano sedans to create self-heated, waterproof coats that transform into sleeping bags for the homeless!

That is good thinking right there. This is actually the vision of Veronika Scott, a Detroit humanitarian. Responding to her efforts, GM donated 2,000 yards of material, enough to make 400 coats.

This is part of General Motors efforts to become more sustainable and environmental. In addition to donating it to the coat project, GM has reused the highly oil absorbent material in its manufacturing plants. It was also used in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill cleanup. The effort prevented 212,500 pounds of waste from entering U.S. landfills.

GM Scrap GM Scrap Cars Turned Into Coats For Homeless

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“Among other challenges – from design to project funding – the insulation is the largest expense in the coats’ production,” said Scott. “With GM’s help and recommendations, I was able to think about materials in a different way and incorporate a sustainable, durable and practical product from GDC, Inc. that benefits struggling community members.”

Sonozorb™, the insulating material, is manufactured in different shapes to fit within door cavities and vehicle compartments for sound absorption. Automotive supplier GDC makes the coat insulation material exclusively from the leftover scrap, reprocessing it for reuse.

“Helping incorporate sustainability into Veronika’s entrepreneurial project reflects GM’s mission to creatively reduce waste and invest in the community,” said John Bradburn, GM’s manager of waste-reduction efforts. “From previous projects, we knew how this material could be reused and approached Veronika and GDC, who quickly agreed to participate.”

Scott initially designed the coats to fulfill a classroom requirement while a junior at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies. Since December 2010, she has employed eight homeless women full time, making 150 coats each month. The coats have been available since February 2011 and are distributed to homeless outreach organizations in Detroit and across the nation. Scott also helps her employees find housing and achieve financial independence.

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