Worker-owned Pingree Detroit creates equity, shares success with employees

Pingree Detroit, a design and manufacturing cooperative near the city’s Fitzgerald neighborhood, is making the city a better place one recycled good at a time, and they’re doing it all while giving employees stock in the business. The worker-owned business takes recycled materials — leather, seatbelts and airbags for example — and turns them into consumer products like shoes, backpacks, purses, wallets, dog leashes and more.  

And if you’d hadn’t heard of them already, there’s a chance you might see them around the city this year. Pingree Detroit Co-Founder Jarret Schlaff says the company wants to host pop-ups frequently at Eastern Market and at events like the Detroit Auto Show. 

Pingree Detroit uses recycled materials like leather, seatbelts and airbags to make consumer products like shoes, backpacks, purses, wallets, dog leases and more. | Photo by One Detroit

Future of Work host and One Detroit producer Will Glover met with Schlaff at Pingree Detroit’s manufacturing space to talk about the company’s worker-owned business model and how it’s creating new opportunities for residents and veterans to learn valuable skills and share in the company’s success. They also talk about the challenges of being an entrepreneur and the benefits of building a company in Detroit. 

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