I recently came across a new clothing company that I’m so excited to share with you — the IOU Project. Designers and sewers in Italy use fabrics hand-woven in India to create one-of-a-kind fashions. (To prove every item is truly unique, each comes with a tracking number so you can actually find out who made the fabric and sewed each garment.) The IOU Project avoids the need for costly bricks and mortar retail so that more of the profits from clothing sales go directly to the people who made the garments. By cutting out the middle man, savings are passed on to the artisans who end up being paid a higher wage for their work. In addition, anyone can become involved with this project by applying to host online “trunk shows” that they curate with IOU Project pieces they select. Trunk show hosts promote their selection of items with social media and earn a cut of the profits.
The IOU Project Facebook page gives this overview of the initiative:
Using technology we create mass market potential for an easy-to-wear line of clothing based on the idea that each piece is handmade and completely unique. The uniqueness of each item allows us to provide traceability right down to the weaver that hand-wove the fabric. The stories of how that item was created, of the people involved, of the customers who purchased them, are the essence of the the e-commerce social network which we have built as a meeting place for a community that shares our brand values of authenticity, transparency, uniqueness and both social and environmental responsibility.
Not only is the philosophy behind this project a great idea, but on a purely aesthetic level, these clothes are pretty awesome… Behold:
Be sure to check out the IOU Project page for more information about this company and the artisans behind the fashion, as well as to browse through the one-of-a-kind pieces. I also recommend watching this 3-minute video for the lowdown on the IOU Project!