Innovation That Matters

Crowdf(o)unding an eco clothing brand -- Update


Early last month, when we first wrote about nvohk—an eco-friendly, surf-inspired clothing manufacturer—we noted it was a good example of a crowd-funded business model. Hoping to build a brand from scratch, the Los Angeles-based company launched a drive to recruit 5,000 “owner managers” who will each contribute USD 50 annually. In exchange they’ll get a voice in deciding everything from the clothing styles to the advertising of nvohk’s line of environmentally responsible clothing. Plus, they’ll receive discounts along with 35 percent of the company’s profits, the latter doled out in the form of reward points that can be used to buy clothing items. Nvohk’s crowd-funded approach appears to have been right on the money. The company recently announced that 1,250 people have signed up to become members. An appealing and perhaps unexpected element to nvohk’s approach is that the brand will be global from the start. “With about 40% of future members coming from outside the US to date, nvohk is a great example of how the internet and globalization are changing the business landscape forever,” comments Brendan T. Lynch, co-founder of nvohk. We’ve noted other examples of crowdfunding in everything from TV prodction to soccer teams. And while it’s too soon to know how well companies relying on this new form of grass-roots financing will perform, the diverse nature of start-ups using crowdfunding suggests it can work well for anyone with an attention-grabbing idea and the business plan to back it up.



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