Toby Kriwiel is about to launch a fair-trade sportswear line called Matano, based here in Wichita.
After months of planning, making contacts and networking, Kriwiel is about to launch a $20,000 Kickstarter campaign.
He said he needs the money to put in his first order with an Indian clothing manufacturer that is fair-trade certified.
Fair trade standards are designed to aid the sustainable development of some smaller producers and agricultural workers in developing countries. The standards include certain levels of wages and safety, and no use of child labor.
He plans to start with men’s and women’s athletic shorts and tops.
The Kickstarter campaign will be 35 days and end July 5.
“They have a minimum order that we have to reach to produce our products, so we need to reach $20,000,” Kriwiel said.
The gear will be available first to the Kickstarter campaign donors, then through Matano’s website and a couple of “social enterprise” retail chains, he said.
Eventually, he hopes to get into big retailers.