By selling bags, shirts and more, these fashion-forward female founders are employing ethical entrepreneurship to improve the world and change people’s lives.
Check out these 5 women-led crowdfunding campaigns:
The Business: Haylie Studebaker is the current owner of Layers Clothing. The brand was first launched back in 2004 by a different founder, but temporarily ceased operations after a warehouse fire destroyed its inventory in 2009. Studebaker assumed ownership in late 2012 and, ever since, she’s been hard at work designing women’s tops, skirts and more. Her goal? To “simplify a woman’s life and allow her to intentionally focus on what matters most” by sending comfortable, stylish clothing right to her doorstep from Studebaker’s Queen Creek, Ariz., base of operations.
The Money: Studebaker has 11 days to reach her $15,000 goal and has generated $4,311 so far. If she succeeds, the money will be used to fund manufacturing of her first full clothing line.
The Business: Using proceeds from selling her handbags, entrepreneur Alice Rock of Alice’s Bag Company hopes to open up educational opportunities for girls abroad. Her San Francisco venture, currently in its early stages, plans to donate 20 percent of its sales to One Girl, an organization that promotes access to a quality education for African girls. It’s a mission Rock is dedicated to because she believes that “a balanced, compassionate, and successful society needs more women leaders in positions of influence,” she says in the campaign.
The Money: Rock plans to use her crowdfunding dollars to pay for development and production of cross-body bags. She has 13 days to reach her goal amount of $20,000 and has raised $2,536 so far.
The Business: “Do you know where your clothes are made, and the impact they have?” That’s what Vancouver-based designer Nicole Bridger wants us to consider when they make purchase decisions. She also wants to provide environmentally friendly options and has researched and teamed up with ethical, eco-friendly factories from Vancouver to India and Nepal that can help her bring her sartorial visions to life. In particular, she has sought out factories where employee happiness is high and ecological impact is low. Now, she needs help to get her clothing made and shipped.
The Money: Just 2 days remain on Bridger’s campaign. She hopes to raise at least $25,000, and has received $5,428 so far. Any money she generates will be put toward manufacturing her clothing in these ethical facilities.
The Business: The all-female team behind GreyC2, a South African organization that sells ethically made clothing, is preparing to debut its first line of coats. To ensure minimal impact and maximum quality, each coat will be made to order and crafted out of locally sourced alpaca wool. In addition to boosting the local economy, the GreyC2 team has also partnered with the Spekboom Foundation of South Africa to offer customers the option of donating funds to support planting these small succulent plants quickly and easily when they make an order.
The Money: So far, the GreyC2 team has raised $4,236 of a $10,466 goal amount, with 8 days still to go on the campaign. The money will fund production of a line of coats in various colors and patterns.
The Business: Kind Cotton, a Sarasota, Fla. venture that makes shirts for women featuring empowering messages, is the brainchild of Kaitlin Johnstone. Her background as a teacher has given her direct insight into how education improves the lives of children. Now, she’s turning to entrepreneurship to make an even greater impact. Every time she sells one of her shirts, she will donate a book to a child in need. Johnstone says she is starting locally, with aspirations of one day reaching children across the country.
The Money: Johnstone’s campaign has 13 days to raise $5,000, and she has currently raised $1,700. Funds will be used to produce more shirts and pay for marketing initiatives.
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