Meet and Greet: Kohl Crecelius of Ethical Fashion Brand Known Supply
For those of you who follow me on Instagram (you all do, right?), you probably recognize Known Supply from my latest giveaway. They're a fantastic new brand from the co-founder of Krochet Kids, Kohl Crecelius. Known Supply believes in making clothing personal again. With a transparent supply chain, timeless designs, and tags hand-signed by their makers I think they're off to a great start. I was lucky enough to chat with Kohl recently and find out what makes his brand so special.
Compassionate Fashionistas meet Kohl in his own words!
Name: Kohl Crecelius
Company: KNOWN SUPPLY (http://knownsupply.com)
Favorite Piece of Clothing? My red Krochet Kids intl. beanie. I wear it every day. Seriously.
Where can we find you?
At a coffee shop in Costa Mesa, CA or online @kohlgreyson (https://www.instagram.com/kohlgreyson/)
What aspect of ethical fashion does your brand focus on?
We focus on fair wages and meaningful employment for people in underserved communities around the world. We also do a lot to raise consumer awareness about the makers behind the clothing we all wear.
What inspired you to start your Known Supply?
Over 10 years ago myself and two friends started a social good brand called Krochet Kids intl. We volunteered a lot international, working with different NGOs and non-profits and the biggest opportunity we saw was to provide empowerment through job creation, as opposed to short-term solutions like handouts. We wanted to restore dignity to women and families living in poverty and help them to be able to live independent lives, while at the same time pursuing their dreams and passions.
Just last year we launched KNOWN SUPPLY in an effort to give more opportunities to makers and to shoppers / brands / organizations / events that wanted to have an ethical apparel option. Now everyone can have ethical apparel.
What’s the biggest challenge you had to overcome while growing your brand?
Comparison. From our own perspective and looking at other brands, but even more from other people's expectations of our work. As a social good brand or non-profit organization, you are often left to feel like you are not doing enough or meeting the expectations that others have for your work. It's often in good nature, but people wanting you to be something different than you are is a challenge when it comes to building any brand, but especially one that makes a positive impact on the world. We had to learn to trust our work and the impacts we were creating, even if that was different than what others thought we should be doing. We learned to stand up for ourselves and take confidence if what we were building.
What have you learned from your experience?
Wow. More than I even realize or could articulate, that's for sure. I've learned of the power of the human spirit and the resiliency of people who are working to create a better world, either for their individual communities or within institutions like apparel manufacturing. It's been humbling and gratifying in equal measure.
Who inspires your ethical-fashion journey?
First and foremost, the fact that our company is able to make a real and tangible difference in the lives of the people who make our clothing. Second, that we get to help more shoppers understand the power they have to make a difference. Lastly, that we get to model a better way of producing and wearing clothes to the next generation. I'm a dad and I can't help but to think about the world my sons will live in. You know, dad stuff.
What advice would you give aspiring ethical fashionistas?
Love what you have.
If you buy something new, make sure it's something that you LOVE and is good for the person who made it.
Go thrift store shopping for everything else! I have been shopping thrift stores my entire life and I absolutely love it. The thrill of the hunt!