6 Ethical Fashion Kickstarters That Need Your Help
Kickstarter isn't just the land of wannabe musicians and partially funded short films — there's a lot of great fashion design happening on there, too. The indie designers and tailors who take the Kickstarter route tend to care about things that are bigger than fashion: sustainability, eco-consciousness, and supporting local artisans. And if you donate, chances are you'll come out with a perfectly fitted sweater or a pair of carbon-negative kicks, too.
The following six companies have between eight and 42 days left on their Kickstarter projects, and all of them need more support. If you see something you like, consider tossing them some change. Let's fight for style that's not just hipper, but genuinely better.
Carbon Negative Footwear
Now you can drink your wine and wear it, too. ReCORK recycles actual wine corks into two styles of carbon negative shoes — the awesome hippie sneaks pictured and a basic black flat. The upper parts of the shoes are leather, made from "ethical tanneries that adhere to the standards set by the Leather Working Group."
They've got 13 days to go and still need about $130,000 to reach their Kickstarter goal. Contribute here: ReCORK: Imagine Carbon Negative Footwear
Custom Fit American Sweaters
You could own ten poorly fitted, pilling sweaters, or invest in a single perfect one — and how much better if that perfect sweater is made exactly to your specifications? Appalatch has a "computerized knitting machine that's similar to a 3d printer," so when you submit your measurements to them online, your custom-fit sweater is ready in under an hour. Best of all, they've built a sustainable, ethical chain of American suppliers for everything from the wool to the spinning to the dyeing to the sewing.
They've reached just more than half of their $50,000 goal, and have 21 days to go. Contribute here: Custom Fit Sweaters, Ethically Made in America
Elevated Cotton Staples
Cotton Love offers five quality cotton pieces for women (a cigarette pant, a collarless jacket, a pair of trousers, and two shirts) and four for men. Their designs are notable for their clean, classic lines, and were inspired by "90s minimalism, eastern silhouettes and antique workwear." According to their Kickstarter, their fabrics are "sourced from quality suppliers and mills from across the UK and Europe," but contact them for more details if that's too vague.
Their project has 22 days to go, and only £1,176 of a £20,000 goal. Contribute here: COTTON LOVE — Debut Men's and Womenswear Collection
Handcrafted, Fair Trade Peruvian Shoes
How incredible are those colors? Not only are Inkkas shoes brighter than everything else in your wardrobe, but they're handmade in a Peruvian family workshop using authentic South American textiles. They're also 100 percent vegan. And there are tens of bright patterns to choose from, in both high- and low-top styles.
They're about halfway to their $20,000 goal, with 34 days left. Contribute now: INKKAS - Colorful Handmade South American Sneakers
Empowering Old-Hollywood Lingerie
When titling their intimate apparel, Blackbird Underpinnings chose four women's names — Édith, Anaïs, Josephine, Marlene, and Coco — perhaps you recognize some of them? Their bralettes, knickers, and camisoles are made locally in San Francisco, and are intended to celebrate "self-expression, confidence, and the unique beauty of every woman."
They're almost halfway to a $37,000 goal, but only have eight days left. Contribute here: Blackbird Underpinnings -- The MAVEN Collection
A Backpack for a Lifetime
The Better Backpack is designed to live forever — literally. Not only is it built to last, but if you decide to get rid of your backpack, you simply send it back to the makers. You'll get a 10 percent rebate, and they'll recycle it into a new backpack for someone else. The design is clean, classic, minimalist, and unisex. But if you covered yours with Nirvana pins, we wouldn't say a word.
The makers still need almost $12,000 in the next 42 days. Contribute here: A Better Backpack — Sustainable Design, Sustainable Future