LONDON, United Kingdom — Consumer interest in a unisex, hoodie-style sweatshirt that’s made in America and guaranteed to last 10 years has resulted in the most successful fashion-related campaign ever on the popular crowdfunding website Kickstarter.
Launched by Flint and Tinder, a premium casualwear brand that manufacturers exclusively in the United States, the call for online backers to fund the production of the company’s “10-Year Hoodie” through pledges and pre-orders, has attracted over 6,000 participants and raised almost $700,000, far surpassing its initial goal.
“The clothes you’re wearing were designed to fall apart,” says Flint and Tinder founder Jake Bronstein in a video on the company’s website that takes aim at poor quality products and planned obsolescence. Referring to the 10-Year Hoodie, he continues: “It’s more than a sweatshirt; it’s a battle cry, a line in the sand, a flag we hope you’ll wave with us. We need one thousand people to raise their hand and tell the world it’s time to buy less, but get more.”
It’s a compelling message. But, for Flint and Timber, embracing crowdfunding makes solid business sense as well.
“Typically when you want to start a business you might spend months or years, even, working on the business plan, copyrighting or patenting various parts and pieces, attempting to line up suppliers, trying to raise the money to make the minimums required to get production going. Only after all of that can you take it to market and try to sell your first customer,” Bronstein told BoF.
Driven by demand signals from end consumers, however, crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter flip the traditional model on its head, resulting in significant efficiencies.
“Using Kickstarter you get to ask customers first if they want the product you’re imaging,” explained Bronstein. “And, if they’re interested, you can use those sales to get production going — and get an idea of how many of the item needs making. And of course, if it doesn’t work, you get to move on without spending too much time and resources.”