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'New Army' attacks fashion world

January 14, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Hooded sweat shirts being sold by a Waynesboro man are surprisingly soft, especially considering they're made from recycled soda bottles.

Polyester made from the bottles forms the hoodie available in three colors with the words "New Army" on the front.

"When I first touched that piece of clothing, my thought was, 'Wow,'" Jeff Rock said.

When glancing at an Old Navy store back in 2004, Rock's mind flitted to the words "New Army." He trademarked the phrase, went to work in Iraq as a contractor, and returned knowing he needed to do something with "New Army" to keep the trademark active.

Rock launched a retail Web-based business on Veterans Day 2008 to sell a New Army line of apparel. With the launch came his decision to donate 10 percent of net proceeds to a charitable service trust for Disabled American Veterans.

"It really tugs at your heartstrings when you see these young men and women," said Rock, a retired Army officer.

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A Pennsylvania marketing firm and New Jersey screen printing company helped Rock to place the New Army words and logo on hats, polo shirts, windbreakers, headbands and sweaters. In talking with that screen printer, Rock learned about the recycled soda bottles polyester as well as an organic cotton T-shirt material.

"One of the things we wanted to do was provide upscale, environmentally friendly clothing," Rock said.

The traditional clothing materials wear exceptionally well, as do the recycled bottles and organic cotton, according to Rock.

The farthest items have shipped to date is York, Pa., but Rock hopes to one day expand the business into retail stores. He's most proud of the contributions to physically and mentally disabled veterans.

"We've given the business a reason for being. It's important we support them," he said.




On the Web: www.GoNewArmy.com

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