muka kids: revolutionizing kids clothing

  • $8,775.00 pledged
  • $5,000.00 target
  • 91 generous backers

Muka kids will revolutionize the way kids clothes are made & used.

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Social Enterprise Design Design Social Enterprise Sustainability

NEW GOAL!! I'm blown away by the support you've shown, so we're going to reach further together.

I'm looking to get to $10,000 before the end of this campaign on 7 September. If we get to this goal, we'll be able to add two more designs to the initial muka kids line - and YOU will get to help me choose them!

Check the updates for more details!

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ABOUT MUKA KIDS

muka kids is a social enterprise launching here in New Zealand. A sustainable business on a mission to improve the garment industry’s treatment of people & the environment while also creating amazing fairtrade & organic clothes for kids.

To achieve our goals muka kids plans to do WAY more than make & sell sustainable clothes.

Here is the plan..

1. Muka kids creates certified organic and fairtrade clothes, in beautiful unisex designs.

2. Kids grow, clothes dont. (but we build ours to last so you can ‘regood’).

3. “Regood” - return our clothes and ‘upsize’ for a discount.

4. Your ‘regooding’ funds small business loans for women in India escaping poverty via enterprise.

First, to start the muka kids story we need to raise funds to get to India, to meet our organic fairtrade cotton growers, the garment makers, the ethical manufacturers. To document the ‘good’ journey of muka kids clothes. This documentation and relationship building is key to being totally transparent about our supply chain; our customers can see exactly where our clothes come from, who makes them and under what conditions. We also need to get samples of our designs made, professionally styled & photographed, so have the all important FANTASTIC PRODUCT to show potential customers.

With all of this we will be that much closer to LAUNCHING muka kids to market and proving business can be successful BECAUSE it takes care of people and the environment, not because it exploits them.

So I am asking YOU to help write this ‘good’ story about clothing production, by pledging funds during this campaign. In doing so, you will get more than just a great feeling from helping launch a sustainable story like ours. We want to make you PART of the muka kids story as our first ‘regooders’…but first a bit about us.

OUR STORY

Muka kids came about when I experienced a sort of ‘collision’, between my first hand knowledge of poverty in India and a moment of madness buying clothes for my kids. We are used to cheap and cheerful kids clothing, and kids clothing businesses are used to a healthy profit; these things are possible because many kids clothing companies, all around the world, exploit women and families with limited choices, and misuse the environment (you can read all about this totally uncool system on my blog: http://mukakids.com/the-production-of-cotton-clothing-a-lot-of-ethical-environmental-craziness-part-2-of-3/).

I, along with lots of us support this system through our purchasing behaviour, not because we think it is a great system, but because the incentives to do otherwise are pretty intangible.

BUT I saw that it was totally within my power as a parent, a consumer to work to change this system.

Applying my strategy development experience, my research skills and problem solving attitude, I thought about a new way to make & use kids clothes. One that would have a positive impact on the lives of women in developing countries, the environment, and as a consequence all our kids.

Driven by the idea that a useful, purposeful and ethical life brings its own unique rewards, I began my adventures in sustainable business with muka kids.

THE PROBLEM

I started with a bit of research with parents like me. I came across the old issue of cost. Many parents want to buy ethically made, environmental friendly clothes, but find it difficult. Kids grow quickly, and their clothes just don’t…. so cheap has its appeal. Parents told me they did feel a bit rubbish about it all and a bit trapped by limited choices… Sound familiar?

I also found that lots of the clothes we buy, including kids clothes are never actually worn (around 30%). In reality, cheap clothing does satisfy our desire for a bit of new stuff. Well I know I was never going to change that (I am very partial to a new frock myself I must say).

SO… what if I could create a system that made it easier to buy quality sustainable clothes & keep them going for longer? Could I create a way for parents and buyers of kids clothes to change the system (and all the nasty social and environmental impacts it has), without feeling a pinch AND give them a warm fuzzy feeling about the good they are doing at the same time?

YES!

THE DEVELOPMENT & WHERE WE ARE AT

So far, we have developed & tested our business model (our unique plan), designed and also mock-upped our initial ‘pod’ of clothing. We have had a fantastic pattern maker on board who has experience in working with fairtrade organic clothing producers. Genevieve Packer, a talented textile designer, has created our unique prints. We also have quirky graphics created by nutandbee.

We have established a remote relationship with fairtrade organic cotton manufacturers in India and we are talking to them constantly about the process of sampling the clothing, costing the designs and ultimately the production of the clothes.

NEXT STEPS

So now we need to start to really develop those all important relationships with all those people who make up our supply chain in India. We need to let our customers (you!) know who exactly those people are, what their lives looks like, and how certified fair trade & organic cotton production really makes a difference to them and their families: we need to document that journey. We also need to turn our designs into the real deal and photograph them on some real live kids so we can market.

Without zinging product to show, all the good intentions in the world stay as hot air. We are asking you to help us with the funds to do this.

We hope that involving you personally in this story, getting your input on our products and taking you along with us on this ride, you will see exactly how you have helped us revolutionize how kids clothes are made & used..

Finally a great huge thank you for reading the muka kids story so far.

Become a ‘regooder’ and part of the muka kids story

You will have your own reasons to pledge and help start muka kids, and we hope that will give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside to support the creation of a sustainability story. However, we want you know that you are key part of creating this ‘good’ story, and we want to say a proper thank you. One that will hopefully feel meaningful to you.

By pledging your support you will officially become our first ‘regooder’. regooders will be with us the whole way through the journey of creating this social enterprise and will have unique access to our experiences on that journey.

On my trip to India, I hope to be visiting two potential fair trade manufacturers (one in Bangalore, the other in Kolkata). I also want to walk their supply chains right back to the fair trade organic cotton farming collectives which supply their cotton.

regooders will receive video updates from these travels in India (sometime hilarious and often a very challenging experience).

I will be doing photo blogs and providing insights on my experiences of meeting the people who grow the cotton and make the clothes. It is especially important to document the experience of women & kids throughout the supply chain we will be using, because women’s empowerment is a critical part of the muka kids story.

Where possible I will take footage of the growing of organic fairtrade cotton & the processing of it.

I also want to show how the cotton is turned into clothing, so you can see exactly how your muka kids clothes are made ‘good’.

I will report my insights into how I have seen fair trade working for both farmers and garment makers in India, and talk where I can to the people personally affected by the fair trade system.

When the clothing samples are made regooders will be first to get the pictures, and our insights (and possible frustrations). We will ask regooders to feed directly into our design and ‘tweaking’ process too.

Once we have the final sample products (the ‘salesman samples’ as they are called!) here in our hot little hands we will invite regooders to come have a look, meet with us and let us know what you think of the prototype garments. We might ask your kids to model them for us!

Eventually regooders (well their kids!) will be the people we ask to test drive our clothes for us.

Page created by:

Jess Berentson-Shaw

Individual
Wellington

Jess is the creative force behind muka kids. She is a parent and scientist, and is passionate about the muka kids sustainable story.

Funds will be paid to a verified bank account of Jess Berentson-Shaw.

  • $8,775.00 pledged
  • $5,000.00 target
  • 91 generous backers
Backed by Spark
($2,335 was matched)

176% backed

  closed

  Closed

This project page was created on 08 Aug 2014 and closed at 00:00 NZST (UTC +12:00) on 07 Sep 2014.

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