Why everyone is investing in Kickstarter (and why you should too)

It’s hard to know what’s new in ethical fashion.  In fact, it’s hard enough to find ethical fashion in the first place.

I often find myself doing endless searches on blogs, the internet, friend’s FB pages, and setting up spreadsheets of cool links.  But somehow I still don’t feel I’m capturing it all – and I’m an ethical fashion junkie!

I was thrilled when a friend suggested I look to kickstarter for the latest in ethical fashion.  I knew about kickstarter, a crowdfunding site that has really fun and sometimes ridiculous gizmos on it and a place where an idea can go viral generating hundreds of thousands of dollars for some lucky start up.  To date 11,122,526 people have participated in kickstarter, pledging almost $2.5 million to 108,000 projects.  All that in just 6 years – not too bad.

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I went to the Kickstarter site and was disappointed to see there was no “ethical or green” option in the Discover menu but was happy to find many thoughtful projects there if I just refined my search a bit.  For example in Fashion there were 371 live projects.  These were subdivided in to different categories such as accessories and couture which I could search different ways.  It did not take long to pick out the ones that had an ethical touch to their line.  I looked for use of natural materials, quality and usefulness of product, labor practices, and company values.  Here are the top 3 I found – that are still open for funding right now, so grab your eco-funded credit card and jump on in!

 

World’s Best Glove

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This is about KUSIKUY a company with an amazing story of Inca treasures, opulence and sacred alpaca fiber from the Andes Mountains of Bolivia.  It shows a company with a deep connection to the Bolivian people and culture.  The kickstarter is for a hand knit, fingerless glove with a 5-year guarantee, buy-back program, up-cycling and ethically sourced fiber and production.  Costing about $99 (there are different pricing options) and guaranteed for 5 years, it’s a sure win-win all around!

 

North x North

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This is as brilliant as the fingerless glove.  Using natural fiber, this time Merino wool, NorthxNorth takes the time to develop hat perfect use/wear anywhere lightweight wool scarf.  It’s unisex, carefully handcrafted in the US, sourced of natural wool, chemical free, long lasting and overall brilliant.  Coming in at $65 – it’s a great investment into something  with “more functions than a pocket knife” as they like to say!

 

Fellini Files

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OK it’s not the most accessible or practical eco-fashion but I loved the how personable it all was.  For example, I get to have lunch with the designer, know her work and be a part of this luscious world.  All work is handcrafted by the artist herself in her New York residence.  So while not exactly eco-green it is creative and fun.

And there are thousands of more projects to back on Kickstarter – many in the arts, entertainment, crafts, food… it’s an amazing world of creativity, innovation and fun.  Happy surfing!

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About the Author

Dr. Tamara Stenn Raised in New York and living in Vermont (after a few years living in Washington, DC and Bolivia, South America). Dr. Tamara is a Fulbright scholar, economics professor, writer (The Cultural and Political Intersection of Fair Trade and Justice), researcher, and social entrepreneur. She makes authentic voices heard in order to create public discussion, grow understanding and bring about greater social and economic justice through collaboration and enterprise development. Her main areas of interest are indigenous knowledge, Suma Qamana (bien vivir), social entrepreneurism and sustainable ways of being. She is the founder and directive of KUSIKUY a leading sustainable fashion brand with hand knit alpaca production in Bolivia.   

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