Who made your tee? Tamil Nadu, India. Photo: KNOWN SUPPLY (@knownsupply)
Community is a core tenet at WNDR Alpine. We know that enacting positive change is a group effort, based on teamwork and collaboration across industries. Simply put, we’d be delusional to think that we could do it all on our own.
So as part of our growth, we’ve dedicated our new Supplier Spotlight series to highlighting our industry partners that deserve to be lifted up. In our first installment of this series, we’d like to introduce our apparel partner, KNOWN SUPPLY.
Founded by two apparel innovators who were frustrated with wasteful fast fashion and the lack of supply chain visibility constantly experienced in the textile industry, KNOWN SUPPLY humanizes supply chains to function as a platform for social good.
Read on for an inspiring chat with Kohl Crecelius, KNOWN SUPPLY’s CEO & Co-founder.
What was the impetus behind creating KNOWN SUPPLY?
After 10 years of running our first ethical brand we saw a greater opportunity — as well as a greater need — to resource other businesses with ethical apparel that was fairly made and sustainably sourced. It seems obvious to say, but the number of people we could employ and the number of conscious shoppers we could reach would be exponentially greater through a collaborative business model. We happen to like partnering with other great people/brands.
The importance of all industries reducing their global footprint is abundantly clear. As manufacturers and fabricators, what are the most important tools that we can use to reduce our footprint?
Sharing resources and operating in a much smarter way from an inventory perspective is one major way we lower waste reduction. When it comes to apparel, the industry needs to re-think the strategy that says "we're going to order a ton of this seasonal product and pray that it sells."
At KNOWN SUPPLY, we hope to not only allow businesses to leverage ethical merchandise, but to also purchase more manageable quantities that avoid over-production and waste.
Co-founders Travis Hartanov and Koh Crecelius. Photo: KNOWN SUPPLY (@knownsupply)
Tell us about the importance of supply chain transparency within the apparel industry.
We believe it is vital, but perhaps in a different way than others. It's one thing to list your suppliers on your website (and we do this) but we feel like there is an opportunity for a deeper connection our customers can have. We also introduce customers to the maker of their item by inviting them to view an online profile. While it's great to know where something is made, we believe the most important thing for a shopper to understand is that our items are made by people. They are thoughtfully crafted and cared for. If we all had this understanding we would view our clothing much less frivolously.
How do you vet your own suppliers and partners?
We rely on the experts and non-profit organizations who are the best at vetting. All our products are Fair Trade Certified, meaning production facilities are not only safe and offer fair employment, but there are a host of other benefits to the maker — which could be healthcare, childcare, scholarship funds and more depending on the needs of the community.
Tamil Nadu, India. Photo: KNOWN SUPPLY (@knownsupply)
How does KNOWN SUPPLY seek to partner with other mission-driven brands?
By helping them align their values with their merchandise. We want to help brands be true to their value system at every level, and merchandise is a truly forward facing aspect of that mission.
How does collective action spur us toward a better future?
It's vital! I've always found that inspiration is never linear, but circular. The more you see people or brands doing positive things, the more you level up in your own game. This inspires others and the goodness only increases! Realizing our actions are not solely our own, but contribute to something greater is crucial... and honestly a lot more fun.
From Southern Asia to the mountains of Utah, we do our best to keep our supply chains transparent. FOW: Romy Koles // Photo: Jordan Pay (@jordanpay)
Here’s to collective action! Explore our new collaboration with Known Supply here: