Woman in White Long Sleeve Shirt and Blue Denim Jeans Sitting on Brown and White Textile

Sackcloth and Ashes: Blanket the United States

At T.Y. Fine Furniture, we’re always looking for companies that have great stories and are driven by a mission beyond profit-making. As we continue to expand our store, we’re proud to have found and partnered with businesses that have had a positive impact. 

In this article, we’re featuring one such brand we only recently started carrying—Sackcloth & Ashes. There’s more to this brand than its unique, colorful, and cozy blankets.

Sackcloth & Ashes, the Story

Sackcloth & Ashes’ story began with founder Bob Dalton whose advocacy sprung from an event very close to home. 

In 2013, his own mother ended up living on the streets. This sparked a fire in him to help the homeless community. He began contacting shelters in his area and found that one thing these facilities needed in common was blankets. 

“I drove to Joann’s Fabric, bought a sewing machine, and started selling blankets out of my car,” said Dalton in an article he wrote for Medium.

“For every blanket purchased, I committed to donate one to a local homeless shelter in the buyer’s same community, giving people the ability to contribute down the street from where they live,” he said. 

Dalton eventually founded Sackcloth & Ashes, continuing the mission he embarked on nearly a decade ago—this time with a broader reach with the same practical, one-for-one approach.

“The local one-for-one business model was my way of addressing a need right in our backyards while offering a tangible opportunity to help,” said Dalton. The company has since partnered with more than 600 shelters and programs in the United States. 

But why “Sackcloth and Ashes?” 

In ancient Hebrew tradition, wearing sackcloth and dusting oneself with ashes indicate mourning and repentance. The company name stands for a similar metaphor. It symbolizes the “mourning over the homeless population and repentance by contributing to people in need,” as stated on its website. 

Sackcloth and Ashes at store display

Giving Back and Sustainability

Sackcloth & Ashes maintains the same “blanket for a blanket” approach. But the company is now driven by a more aggressive campaign: Blanket the United States. The goal is to donate one million blankets to shelters by 2024. 

Aside from giving back to the homeless community, the company also advocates for sustainability. The blankets are made with 75 to 100 percent recycled fabric—scraps from factories or old textiles to be dumped in landfills. These scraps are shredded and turned into fibers, then woven in Italy by second and third-generation textile mills. 

Meanwhile, the beautiful and unique designs are brought to life by eco-friendly dyes. Sometimes, wool is used for the blankets, and the company ensures it’s always mulesing-free.

So, what type of blanket does Sackcloth & Ashes donate to the shelters? The company provides twin-size fleece blankets to high-volume and high-turnover shelters. They also donate cotton or wool blend blankets to programs with long-term guests. 

Where to Buy Sackcloth & Ashes Blankets

You can quickly buy a blanket at the Sackcloth & Ashes website

But there’s nothing like seeing and feeling the product before buying it, especially with blankets. You can, at T.Y. Fine Furniture. If you’re in Columbus, visit our shop and browse our selection of Sackcloth & Ashes blankets. We have a team of experts who will be more than happy to assist you. 

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