By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Jun 08, 2009 at 4:45 PM

In April, we told you about Teecycle reaching the finals in PepsiCo's national "What's Your Pitch?" contest.

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," and because founder Tim Cigelske not only recycles used T-shirts but also donates a $1 from every sale to restore urban river trails and waterways in the Milwaukee area, they saw his company as the perfect fit.

So perfect, in fact, that the powers that be at PepsiCo awarded Teecycle the top prize: a $4,500 grant.

With his winnings, Cigelske wants to print original designs from local artists on used T-shirts to sell alongside his already-printed thrifty finds.

"In other plans, I have it in my head that there's definitely a potential documentary in the artistic and ethical clothing movement. I think clothing is slowly headed along the same path as organic food. People are making wiser decisions with what they wear, and re-using T-shirts is just one small facet of this philosophy. But so far ethical clothing is a movement without a name or rallying cry, so maybe -- just maybe -- we could help get that started."

Hear his winning entry call here.

Read and watch his interview with the BizTimes here.

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.”