Ethical and eco-friendly Welsh brand Gecko Clothing is using Kickstarter to launch their children’s range

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All or nothing! Ethical and eco-friendly Welsh brand, Gecko Clothing is using crowd funding platform Kickstarter to launch their children’s range. Gecko Clothing’s children’s line will use SheepPooPaper™ hangtags, outlining the products journey, which will be accompanied by wild flower seed paper to promote the support of the dwindling bee populations.

Gecko Clothing has always been an idea that we (husband and wife team), joked about after being continuously frustrated by the lack of affordable bright and bold clothes on the market for men and boys. Previously I (Emma – The Gecko & wife) had been freelancing as an Event and Project Manager, which placed a strain on our family as I increasingly had to work away from home.

Whilst on a delayed honeymoon in Turkey we watched families spending their working days together which inspired us and sparked discussions about the potential for our future. This is where the idea of Gecko Clothing was born.

Gecko Clothing was started by launching three t-shirt designs, each of two different base colours. We chose Earthpositive t-shirts which means they were made in India in a Fair Wear Foundation-registered factory, powered by wind, on 100% organic cotton and ocean shipped to North Wales for design and print. Our printing is done by hand in North Wales using water based inks that are completely PVC and phthalate free.

The t-shirts are made from cotton grown in regions that receive 95% of their water during monsoon season. It takes over 20,000 litres of water to produce one t-shirt. The alternative to sourcing cotton from these regions would be to use large scale irrigation systems which often deprive villages of scarce water resources. It is one of the most progressive ethical t-shirts around.

Our packaging is biodegradable, with awesome hang-tags. Hangtags made from sheep poo – poo expelled by Welsh sheep, eating Welsh grass, watered by Welsh rain.

We learnt very fast how competitive the market was, especially for indie t-shirt companies, which despite all our future plans, with just a small selection of t-shirts, that’s all we were seen as!

We floundered around for a while with some short term plans and ideas and then took a back seat when we had our second son. We took this time to really frame what we wanted to achieve with Gecko Clothing and map out our long term plans and goals. We decided that the next step for Gecko Clothing was to launch new and different products that matched our ideals.

Everything we do is based on four core principles:

  1. Bright & bold unisex designs;
  2. Ethical & eco-friendly manufacture;
  3. Practical & hard-wearing;
  4. That don't cost the earth!

This is a big year for Gecko Clothing. We have just been shortlisted for a 2014 Inspire Wales Award, in the Environmentalist category (to be announced on 20th June). A major part of this shortlisting is due to the work that we have been doing on the products we are trying to get to market. Our biggest challenge is our lack of capital!

Trying to bring very unique products to manufacture is proving challenging. With a lot of tenacity we have found some fantastic manufacturers willing to work in small quantities and have been beavering away putting all our plans into fruition. We use our four core principles to guide us in everything we do which can be REALLY challenging!

Recently we have been looking for a hardwearing, heavy duty fabric for a design. Our first attempts, using the usual suspects, just couldn’t cut it, after some hard work we thought we finally found the ideal fabric, unfortunately it just wasn’t green! After countless revisits to the drawing board we realised that we were looking at this all wrong. We found a way to create the fabric in an eco-friendly way and then looked at what we could do to make it sustainable. We will, when we get to that point in our growth, accept returns at the end of our products’ life in exchange for money off vouchers. We haven’t finalised what we will be doing with our returns just yet, but all our options ensure that our clothes won’t go to landfill, even when they are merely threads!

Right now, we need to get our products and designs out there and really start building the Gecko Clothing momentum. Soon there will be no stopping us! We want to be a truly sustainable clothing brand, that produces clothes that are not only bright and interesting, but that are practical and affordable.

We are using Kickstarter to produce our Organic Cotton Wardrobe Staples range, building up to launching two major children’s products later this year.

We have four organic cotton products with the same fabulous credentials as our t-shirts:

  • Vests
  • Playsuits
  • T-shirts
  • Hoodies.

Through our Kickstarter we are offering people the opportunity to support us by pledging and rewarding themselves with one of our products. You just choose your product and pledge (all prices listed include postage and there are no extra hidden charges). Only if we make our goal will Kickstarter take your pledge. We will then get in touch to find out your design, colour and size preference, and will get your finished item out to you by the end of July at the latest. If we don’t you won’t be charged and our first step on the path of world domination will wait until another day.

I can't express enough how much your support means to us, we quite literally can't make this happen without you! If you like what you see, get on board, help us make it happen, be rewarded, or just share and tell a friend you know will be interested!

See the Kickstarter campaign here - http://kck.st/Sm2tp4

We have until the 9th of June 16.55(GMT) to make our £1800 target. We really need you!

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