When we received an email from slow fashion brand GOOD KRAMA about their latest Kickstarter campaign, I skim-read it, checked out the press kit and peeked at the website and thought, Finally, a Kickstarter we can get behind! Many of the crowdfunding campaigns recently sent our way have been disappointing to say the least. It’s almost like some ethical fashion brands half-ass the process, failing to write engaging copy, capture appealing fashion images and sometimes the collections themselves are, I’m sorry to say, B-O-R-I-N-G.
It’s here I should point out that GOOD KRAMA isn’t a misspelling. On its website, this Cambodian sustainable fashion brand explains that Krama is actually a handmade scarf made of thousands of tiny squares of traditional silk or cottona patchwork of contrasting hues, and worn many different ways.
Anyway, GOOD KRAMA was a breath of fresh air in my out-of-control inbox because for starters, they actually put effort into their initial email (it’s becoming rather rare for emails to address me by my first name, so this act of respect was well-received indeed) and the brand ticked many ‘ethical’ and ‘sustainable’ boxes that we at Eco Warrior Princess care about, such as:
Good design: GOOD KRAMA makes clothes that I’d actually wear, would be thrilled to show off, and whose images I’d be happy to share with others. Without the foundation of good design (and good imagery for that matter), none of the other stuff matters. Creating a sustainable item that isn’t appealing and no one wants to buy is 100 percent wasteful, in time, money and in the earth’s resources. Good designing GOOD KRAMA.
Upcycled: Some garments are made from fabric remnants sourced from local garment factories reducing textile waste. Big tick.
Ethically manufactured: The collections are produced in a responsibly-run studio called ‘Fair Sew’ that offers its workers a living wage and other benefits, and gives them further opportunities to learn and develop new skills. Two thumbs up.
Slow fashion: The brand respects cultural tradition by using hand woven krama-inspired fabrics in their collections. In addition, they choose quality over quantity by creating timeless pieces that can be worn again and again, rather than disposed of at the end of a season. I applaud the Cambodian eco label for addressing this issue in their business model as it’s a biggie for me since I am fully committed to The Art of Slow (I spend hours each day gardening, a prime example of slow living) and believe that our missplaced values (convenience, but at what cost?) and culture of speed is damaging our planet. To respect the ecological system in which we exist, we must choose to live at a pace that helps to regenerate our environment. At the moment, our pace of living is destroying it. Anyway, glad GOOD KRAMA is all about the slow…
Impact measurement: I am all about the numbers (tokenistic airy fairy is not for me, I want to see hard data since I’m a hard core sustainability practitioner) and it’s refreshing to see a brand break down the positive environmental impact of each of its offerings. Just browse any item on the website and it shows the ‘eco impact’ of each garment. Thus, it itemises carbon dioxide savings, water savings and waste savings if you decide to purchase. Visual prompts about environmental impact at the browsing stage? Me likey.
Supply chain transparency: While so many brands hide their suppliers and manufacturers, GOOD KRAMA names the source of their silks and cottons for their kramas (Color Silk) and shares the name of their production house (Fair Sew). This is on top of the breakdown of environmental impact of each garment. Respect.
Social cause: By working with their supplier, Color Silk – a social enterprise that aims to prevent the ancient Cambodian weaving tradition from vanishing – Good Krama indirectly contributes to alleviating the poverty of 400 women living in rural areas. I’m a feminist so this sings to my heart.
Cambodia’s sustainable fashion label “designed to swim against the fast-fashion current” is preparing to scale their brand and will make its introduction to the European market and international buyers at one of the sustainable fashion industry’s premiere trade shows, Greenshowroom which runs during Berlin’s Eco Fashion Week. They’ve launched a kickstarter campaign to raise funds to send their team from Cambodia to Germany for this amazing opportunity. This will mark the first time a Cambodian brand participates in the trade show. If you like the good things GOOD KRAMA is up to and want to support their mission to scale their business, make sure to pledge to their kickstarter campaign here.
Want the universe to send you some good karma? Then support GOOD KRAMA. To learn more visit goodkrama.com.