By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Apr 10, 2009 at 10:04 AM

Today might be opening day in Brew City, but there were some Milwaukeeans already pitching down in Austin last month.

Tim Cigelske of Milwaukee's Teecycle, a venture that recycles the cool used T-shirts and sells them cheaply while donating a portion to the city's River Revitalization Foundation, pitched his business to PepsiCo's "What's Your Pitch?" contest at SXSW this past March.

PepsiCo was scouting for "innovative ideas in the interactive world and beyond and a unique business idea that they feel would make the world a better place."

Apparently, Teecycle fit the bill because Cigelske tells us his start up is one of 20 national finalists in the running for a $4,500 prize. The winner is announced May 7.

Teecycle has donated $250 to restore urban river trails and waterways in the Milwaukee area since launching in 2008.

In preparation for this year's Earth Day, Wednesday April 22, Teecycle is teaming up The Establishment salon, 4503 N. Oakland Ave. For every T-shirt you bring in to donate, you get a $1 off your service (limit 10 tees). There's a $5 bonus for new clients and the deal ends on Earth Day.

Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”