It started with messenger bags designed with recycled billboard material in a Williamsburg warehouse anddeveloped into a visionary brand dedicated to environmental preservation and a commitment to sustainable design. Although officially co-founded in 1998 by artist Lexy Funk and her partner, the authentic roots of Brooklyn Industries date back to 1991, in Brooklyn, New York. After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Connecticut’s Wesleyan University in 1991, Funk began searching for a way to make a living through her creative endeavors, and ultimately paused in New York where she met her partner who was fervently pursuing the same. The idea was to LIVE, WORK, CREATE, and develop a workplace culture of creativity and independence.
Finding inspiration from a vinyl billboard found in a dumpster, Funk and her partner began making recycled billboard messenger bags in an effort to design something unique, practical and innovative for the community. They moved into a one-story 3,000 sq ft factory in Williamsburg with a roof big enough to clean and cut billboards. It was then that they sketched the view of Greenpoint and Manhattan from the factory rooftop that would become the iconic Brooklyn Industries skyline logo.
Throughout the years, bags, t-shirts and the lifestyle clothing that Brooklyn industries offers, has been made in factories with environmentally friendly practices. Select clothing is made with organic materials and t-shirt design collaborations with organizations such as Prospect Park, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Recycle-a-Bicycle and Friends of the High Line support organizations with a mission to conserve.
Brooklyn Industries has helped to reduce the world’s carbon footprint by powering stores with 100% National Wind Power through Con Edison Solutions. Only 3% of the United States is powered by wind energy from wind farms making Brooklyn Industries one of Con Edison Solutions’ “Green Power Pioneers.”
Brooklyn Industries stores are also designed with sustainable materials such as wood from certified sustainable forests. Each store is furnished with vintage furniture and has window displays often using recycled materials such as handbags and clothing from previous seasons. Brooklyn Industries has also designed stores with the concept of “upcycling,” the act of creating useful products from waste materials. For example, Brooklyn Industries in Greenpoint has store fixtures made from repurposed wooden pallets which were originally used to transport shipping boxes.
Our reusable shopping totes offered at check-out can be reused and seen in neighborhoods throughout the U.S., and the world.
Sustainability plays a key role in Brooklyn Industries' social responsibility. For more information on Brooklyn Industries’ socially responsible initiatives, please visit our Sustainability page.