July 31, 2023 2 min read

At Circular Threads, our mission is to find innovative ways to divert waste materials from landfills and promote sustainability in businesses. One of the key materials we repurpose is discarded climbing rope collected from local climbing gyms.


Climbing ropes used in gyms have varying lifespans, often necessitating replacement due to factors like falls, sheath abrasion, core shots, or sheath slippage. However, adhering to the principles of the circular economy, we believe in extending the lifespan of materials to their fullest potential before seeking repurposing solutions instead of simply discarding them.

Recycling climbing ropes has gained momentum, and Sterling Rope stands out as a leading manufacturer with its rope recycling program. At their Maine headquarters, they collect ropes from across the country and resell them to other businesses for the purpose of upcycling.

While a closed-loop solution to recycle ropes back into new ropes is yet to emerge in the USA, Edelrid, a German rope manufacturer, has made significant strides by creating the world's first recycled dynamic rope, the Edelrid Neo 3R 9.8mm. Comprising 50% pre-consumer recycled rope and 50% virgin material, this innovation marks a significant step towards a fully closed-loop solution.

At Circular Threads, we embrace the concept of upcycling to transform old climbing ropes into useful and unique products, thereby extending their life cycle and minimizing waste. Climbing gyms with retired ropes can collaborate with us to arrange pickups or ship the ropes to our facility for upcycling.

Our meticulous process involves collecting and cleaning the retired ropes, followed by careful inspection and sorting. Ropes with core shots are shortened and transformed into sections suitable for bag handles or straps. The ropes are then integrated into our product designs, maintaining the essence of the original climbing rope.


While manufacturing products from waste materials presents challenges, our skilled team ensures that each item is carefully crafted to retain strength and durability. The incorporation of both pre-consumer and post-consumer ropes in our upcycling projects reduces the demand for new raw materials and minimizes environmental impact.


By upcycling climbing ropes, we not only prevent them from ending up in landfills but also provide them with new purpose as stylish and functional products. Climbing gyms can join the upcycling movement, showcasing their commitment to sustainability and eco-consciousness, while offering unique merchandise that enhances their brand and fosters customer loyalty.

Embrace the upcycling revolution today and contribute to a greener future in the climbing industry. Together, we can scale new heights while treading lightly on the environment. πŸŒΏπŸš€

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