Kickstarting Fashion

Two-way Reflective Vest

Two-way Reflective Vest

New York, United States — Do you want to partake in change and goodwill? There are some forward thinking on-line sites that help your dreams come true. Welcome to Kickstarter, one of the most popular websites for crowd funding.

The term ‘crowd funding’  means that a “crowd” of strangers fund innovative or creative projects they like. Thanks to social media and the Internet, crowd funding has become a sensation. Projects that you can fund vary from music, movies to medical bills. This concept is also providing good opportunities for entrepreneurs and designers in the fashion industry.

Kickstarter works like a bidding system – all or nothing! If you are not able to reach your funding goal by the deadline you set, you cannot have the money you have raised up to that point. Justin Kazmark at Kickstarter explains, “When you have all or nothing, this drives people to support the project with attention by inviting more people to the project you help, because you know the project is coming to reality only when the goal is met”.

Ann DeOtte Kaufman

Ann DeOtte Kaufman

Daily Blouse

Daily Blouse

Two-way Reflective Vest

Two-way Reflective Vest

Let’s meet some of the several project creators. Ann DeOtte Kaufman, the founder of Iva Jean, which produces fashionable and functional bike clothes, raised $26,500 from 262 people within two months of submitting her project, exceeding the goal of $15,000.

First of all, I could confirm the high demand in the market for our products. Iva Jean is perfect for women who want to be comfortable yet fashionable even when they bike. With our supporters, not only do I have funding, but also I have access to a customer base that might not have been available. I am also able to connect with other entrepreneurs and like-minded designers through Kickstarter…I think that crowd funding gives designers a way to explore and try new things without going into personal debt. I joined Kickstarter because it was difficult to get a loan from a bank. Now I have supporters for my ideas, which have been given life.

The Reveal Skirt

The Reveal Skirt

Another Kickstater project is the Creating Recycled Treasures by Tosheka textiles for stylish, handcrafted and eco-friendly handbags made in Kenya from recycled plastic and other fibres. This project just started on Kickstater with a goal of raising $15,000. It ends on May 17!

According to Herman Bigham, the founder of the Tosheka textiles, “In Kenya, people have a lack of urgency for protecting the environment, so plastic bags are buried under ground. My wife and I teach women in Kenya mainly how to weave the bag. The bags are produced using techniques that preserve the Kenyan culture and environment and foster sustainable community economic empowerment. This not only increases income for low-income families, but also helps the environment. Average income has increased from $40 to $160 per month. We hope we can reach our goal, especially with people who support the environment and empowerment of women”.

Tosheka has a contract with the biggest supermarket chain in Kenya in order to initiate the project and have cleaned plastic bags. The collection includes everything from small wallets to ipad cases and large bags for daily use. “Our bags are fashionable and easy to carry. You can support the environment, help fight poverty and empower women in Africa while being fashionable”, Herman explains.

While researching projects on Kickstarter, I found many accomplished projects funded by people with no strings attached. While entrepreneurs receive needed funding, supporters get the satisfaction of helping ideas and ideals they believe in become reality. So whether it is a new dance, documentary, biking pants or a whole new fashion line you want to fund, go support the great ideas you like and make the world a better place to live!

"Soko Bags" made from recyled plastic bags in Kenya, Credit by Tosheka Textiles

“Soko Bags” made from recyled plastic bags in Kenya, Credit by Tosheka Textiles

Courtesy of: Justin Kazmark, Ann DeOtte Kaufman and Herman Bigham  |  Website: www.kickstarter.com  |  Edited by: Elizabeth Deheza
Miya Choi About the author

Miya Choi is a South Korean born professional in international and cultural diplomacy who has developed a unique view of fashion through her various experiences around the world. In addition to her professional experience with the United Nations and the government of South Korea, she has also been a fashion model, TV hostess and a former winner of the Miss Daegu beauty pageant in Daegu, South Korea. She has a love of fashion and is fascinated by fashion trends in different cultures. She holds a Masters in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School in the U.S. and currently resides in London, U.K.

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