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How it works: Portland company gives Denver Nuggets jerseys new purpose

Ever wonder what happens to NBA jerseys when a player is traded? A Portland company transforms them into other goods.

DENVER — In a Portland workshop, hundreds of Denver Nuggets jerseys are being cut to pieces. 

The Portlanders wielding the scissors aren't taking out their frustrations about the Trailblazers loss in Game 1 of the series with the Nuggets. They're taking the jerseys apart to put them back together again in the form of new gear for Nuggets fans. 

Looptworks has been upcycling uniforms and jerseys for years. Last year, the NBA approached the company to ask that they begin doing the same for gear for all 30 teams. 

The process not only keeps expensive, branded gear out of the landfill, it also saves water and other natural resources. Here's how it works as told by Looptworks Founder and CEO Scott Hamlin:

It rescues unwanted NBA gear

"When players get traded or they retire, or things change on the uniform, then that’s when all those jerseys get leftover. 

"That’s when we kind of take over and intercept them because they can’t be donated in a lot of cases. We intercept them and turn them into new products.

"The Blazers came to us about a year and a half ago. They had four players that got traded. They said, 'lLook, we’ve got all of these jerseys left over, there’s about 250 of them,' and by the end of the summer they came back to us and it was almost four thousand jerseys. 

"They said, 'Guys, we just don’t, we can’t, we don’t know what to do here because you can’t legally sell them, and donations are tough and then you have to kind of destroy them because of the branding rights and all of that.

"The shirts and jerseys and uniforms typically come out of two places. One is the equipment manager and one is retail. A lot of times they’ll have them printed with a player’s name and that player gets traded. Then we end up with all of that player's jerseys here."

It designs a new product that highlights the brand.

Hamlin and his crew design backpacks, hip-packs, pillows and more from the unwanted jerseys.

Hamlin told 9NEWS that Looptworks partners "with great non-profits that employ adults with barriers to employment and we teach them how to sort, deconstruct and prepare the jerseys for design and production. So, on top of the great environmental benefit of using excess materials, there is a positive social impact as well."

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