Hoodlivingmy comments were referring to one the contest and two predominately their other thread about their products. There is a dime a dozen companies planting trees and this or that for sales. They sell a weird short sleeve hoodie, a clava, beanies, headbands, beer coozy for way too much money.
To me this company looks like any other start up that justifies their high prices cause of "in house" or American made product and they do something small per sale for nature. Can't justify paying close to that much for a factory line churned out 1.85 beanie shipped in bulk branded and then slapped with a 65% codb profit markup. I may be wrong maybe their gear will make you Tom walnuts or turn Gus straight. Till then I'll stick with any of the thousands of beanies for sub 15 bucks.
Hey man, thanks a ton for the feedback and thoughts on it all; we really appreciate hearing from people even if it's not all 'praise'. We are in no ways perfect, in fact we're far from it. But we'd rather be upfront in our shortcomings than try to hide it all behind fancy marketing and buzz words, cuz honesty is always the best policy. So I thought I'd step in here and address some of the things you brought up:
To start, we aren't just another 'startup that does something small for nature' with the tree thing. Sure, there are many companies who have hopped on the bandwagon and started doing that these days (which is rad, just means more good things for the future) but we've actually been doing the tree planting thing since 2008, and before that we donated portions of sales to the World Wildlife Fund. We've also been a certified Carbon Neutral business by offsetting our emissions since 2010, so that whole 'giving back to nature' thing isn't just a marketing gimmick, its part of who we are. Tried, true & tested.
Unfortunately these aren't just the 'dime a dozen' beanies you can swoop for under 15$ because, well, they're made better. Those cheap beanies are more often than not made of pure acrylic yarn somewhere overseas where wages are poor to match quality of living, and environmental regulations for factories and businesses are often non-existent. Acrylic yarn, along with the standard woven polyester labels you see everywhere, are all derivatives of oil, and regardless of whether you're a die hard enviro hippy or an international foreign policy expert, I think there are plenty of reasons we can all agree to use less of that. Secondly, you may not directly deal with the polluted waterways and deforestation that happens in those areas as a result of this cheap production, but we all share this planet and those things impact every one of us on a daily level somehow. Whether its toxic water today, failed crops tomorrow, or a future without consistent snow, none of that is a good thing. Thirdly, labor costs money, and this is literally peoples quality of life we're talking about here. Where we get things made overseas, we work with certified ethical labor and environmentally audited manufacturers that pay competitive fair trade wages to their employees...but in the long term, we'd like to bring those jobs back to our part of the world where we can have a direct impact on supporting our local economies to strengthen and grow our communities here. The standard of living here in North America is generally higher than third world countries, so those wages do cost more and thus the cost of our pieces goes up. But it's your community - it gives your neighbors jobs and money to keep the lights on at your local bars, coffee shops and grocery stores. We also try to use innovative or new materials like recycled PET, recycled Cashmere, animal cruelty & pesticide free merino wool, organic cotton, recycled wetsuit neoprene, etc. Yes, we do have some older pieces that use acrylic yarn, but we're in the process of phasing out these materials to better evolve and adapt to a changing world. We're not perfect, but we're ultimately doing all we can within our means help create a world we'd like to be a part of in the future.
So yes, you are completely entitled to feel the way you do and are certainly welcome to buy those cheaply made beanies. We can't stop you, and in fact we'd urge you to not by any new beanie if you don't need it. No matter how rad, cool, or awesome it is, if you've got something already that does the trick then there's no use throwing it out. But, if you do need something, then we'd encourage you to look at the bigger picture and use your cash to vote for the kind of future you'd want to live in.
Always stoked to have a conversation instead of hateful internet trolling, and I'd be stoked to chat with you about it more. Thanks again for the thoughts and feedback man, hope you're having a rad winter and getting after some of this awesome pow!
- Ross @ Rime