The TECHdotMN team would like to introduce you to each of the startups featured in the upcoming BETA showcase. Over the next couple of weeks, we will highlight each company, so you can get a better idea of the talent, hardwork, and dedication held within each of these startups.
The second company in our BETA Startup Showcase series is: Akinda
We design versatile clothing to inspire sustainable living.
Tell us the story of how and why your started your company.
Growing up in an off-the-grid community in southern Oregon I developed a unique set of values and senses. My experiences led me to develop a heightened sense of place and self, a connectedness to my surroundings, and a humility for beauty in nature. Through this style of conscious living I gained an appreciation for sustainable methods of design.
Driven by aesthetics, I became immersed in fashion – designing clothing and working in the industry. I constantly looked to reinvent my wardrobe; turning old pieces into new garments, all the while trying to maintain this mindset of sustainability while adhering to my fashion aesthetic.
The garment that always mystified me the most was the swimsuit, the piece I could only wear three months out of the year in Wisconsin. I began making swimsuits that looked like shirts, so I could wear them year round as bodysuits.
I soon realized I was reaching for these suits more than any other shirt, it had become my core piece to my wardrobe. My friends all wanted them, strangers on social media were reaching out, and the current backlash from fast fashion seemed serendipitous.
I started Akinda to combine my values of aesthetics, as a designer, with my expectations of conscious living to create a brand that represented the ethics I lived and demanded out of my clothing.
What’s your most recent success or milestone hit?
At Akinda, we believe the solution to combating fast fashion is conscious consumption. Conscious consumption is based on our philosophy of traditional sustainability: garments that are built to last with high-quality craftsmanship, enabling consumers to engage with a sustainable lifestyle. As part of that mission, we work to apply sustainable practices by ethically manufacturing.
Our most recent success was when we recently partnered with a family-owned production facility in Los Angeles that adheres to our standards of fair wages and excellent working conditions. Meeting the people that create the patterns, sew our garments, and design our tech pack was incredible and solidified our relationship with our manufacturers.
Where do you see your startup one year from now?
We function around having a strong core, our suit. This is why we are first starting with reinventing the swimsuit by making the “swim” in swimsuit interchangeable with “dine”, “meet”, “lead”, “live”. In a year, our goal is to have perfected our core bodysuit so we can build-out complementary clothing pieces that enable a transformed, sustainable wardrobe.
For more information, please visit: Akinda.co