Bison Fiber … From wasting it to wearing it

The American Bison. Noble creature. Calm, yet can tear you apart if they so desire. And they make a pretty good burger and some pretty tough boots.

I learned something about the American Bison and the clothing industry. There is a a company that takes the fiber from a bison’s shaggy coat. This fiber, which helped regulate the bison’s warmth and dryness, is temperature-regulating, lightweight, and flexible. But it was not utilized like other parts of the bison. So United by Blue has developed a way to salvage this resource from the ranching industry before it would be discarded. They are not harming bison, but are using an existing resource that has been underutilized. Jackets. Socks. Shells. And hopefully more to come.

And the company has a mission to clean up the oceans and waterways. They have a wonderful vision and ethic. In 2018, they removed over 530,000 pounds of waste from 23 states and 1 foreign country. Quite an impact.

But what caught my attention was the use of an underutilized resource and making it a valid part of the industry.

You and me and everyone has areas of our lives that we underutilize, try to ignore, or even throw away. But God has a way of using what the world sees as disposable, what we see as expendable. It may be past experiences, family legacies, unique abilities.

God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God’s many kinds of blessings. – 1 Peter 4.10

We may realize how God uses our talents, abilities, and gives us gifts … and even our variety of experiences … but those painful experiences we try to bury deep. Problems, hurts, pains, sorrows, loss, trials, and brokenness. We try to move past, forget, or even hide the painful experiences. But God never wastes a hurt. Some say our greatest ministry will most likely come out of our greatest hurt. (R. Warren). But for those experiences to be used, you must be willing to share them.

Experience is not what happens to you. It is what you do with what happens to you. – Aldous Huxley
So, turn that bison fiber into jackets. And turn those things in your life you want to bury into tools for a God to use. What a great lesson.

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