Levity Hammocks and Swings
Parachuting.com is proud to get the word out about Levity Hammocks and Swings. Initially, CEO Leah Levy did not set out to start a company that recycles used parachutes for environmentally-friendly products. She simply loves skydiving and she is smitten with parachutes. It’s easy to see why. Parachutes are bright and colorful. Their bold colors and designs are compelling against a gorgeous blue sky.
When Levy began to wonder about what happens to those parachutes after the jumps, she thought about the waste. She found out that parachutes end up in landfills as colorful polluters that are not biodegradable. Eventually, Levy figured out that there must be a way to repurpose parachutes to help the environment and maybe turn a profit along the way.
Last year, Levy took some time away from her studies at Virginia Tech. In the interim, she approached pilots and started collecting their parachutes. Although she had a great vision, Levy didn’t know how to sew. With a tenacity only born out of not knowing any better, Levy asked a parachute company to give her an internship so that she could learn about the process of making parachutes to increase her knowledge of the material.
Ripstop nylon weave is strongly reinforced yet light as a feather. This material is ideal for parachutes, yacht sails, and hot air balloons. The best tents are made of ripstop nylon because even with direct contact with the ground, they don’t tear quickly. This means campers can patch up a tear and feel confident that the tent has full functionality. For Levy, a great selling point for reusing ripstop nylon is that although lightweight, the nylon expands and stretches beautifully while being resistant to tears and water.
As part of her internship, Levy had to start with the basics of sewing including understanding and making patterns. After this learning sabbatical, Levy returned to school and planned to turn this parachute recycling project into a thesis. Through all the twists and turns and encouragement from her teachers, Levy began to see a viable idea with the strong possibility of profits down the road. Eventually, Levy sewed up some early prototypes and launched a crowdsourcing campaign to start a business. The goal? $25,000 of which $22,000 has successfully been raised from excited investors around the world.
The excitement is fueled by Levy’s eye-catching designs that repurpose what might have been discarded parachute material into environmentally-friendly jackets and other outerwear, hammocks, pocket swings and tents for camping and shelter. Levy does all the sewing herself– refashioning webbing straps for hanging hammocks or miscellaneous pieces of the parachute into whimsical jewelry.
By redesigning used parachutes, Levity Hammocks and Swings gives parachute manufacturers another avenue for discarded materials that bypasses landfills. Customers can help the environment and simultaneously, integrate their favorite skydive team colors into their daily lives. You can read more about them here.
For Levy, it’s a win-win for the environment, for her fledgling company and for partners like Parachuting.com. Individuals all around the world are seeking inventive ways to be eco-friendly and show their love of skydiving. By redesigning used parachutes, Leah Levy helps skydivers follow their fun with unique products for everyday life.