About

If you love the luxurious feel of fine cashmere AND you care about the Earth, you will love Vegetable Cashmere™ by KD New York.  As a true plant-based alternative to traditional animal fiber cashmere, Vegetable Cashmere™ is a smart choice for you and for our planet. 

We are KD New York. We have created dance and yoga-inspired athleisure wear for over 40 years.  We design, knit, and manufacture ourselves, in the U.S.  Our clothing has been worn by celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, Baryshnikov, and Beyoncé (below). We are proud of our legacy.  We have spent years developing, testing, and refining Vegetable Cashmere.™ The secret is in the knitting. We are pleased to launch it, here and now ...  on Kickstarter.

Beyoncé, adorned in KD New York athleisure, as it appeared in Elle Magazine

We believe the future of activewear is garments made from fibers that are natural in origin, cruelty-free in their cultivation, flexible in feel, luxurious to the touch, stylish, fashionable, and sustainable. 

  • Vegetable Cashmere™ is plant-based; 100% natural; biodegradable. 
  • It is cruelty-free and farmer-friendly.
  • It looks and feels exactly like fine traditional cashmere.
  • It is fashionable, stylish, colorful, and ideal for all-day wearability. 
  • It is washable and easy to care for.

We have launched 13 items, offered as Rewards, at special "first adopter" prices, only available here on Kickstarter.    

 "Who doesn't love the look and feel of fine cashmere? We launched this campaign on Kickstarter so we can remain independent, and reach a community that believes in true sustainability and innovation. The Vegetable Cashmere Collection features yarn spun from soy protein byproducts, repurposed from the manufacture of tofu. The secret is in the knitting. Vegetable Cashmere™ will deliver the look and feel you will love, AND it's a smart choice for the Earth." - David Lee 

ABOUT ANIMAL FIBER CASHMERE

Traditional animal fiber cashmere comes from the soft neck hair of specific breeds of goats, mostly bred in China and Mongolia. Surging goat populations from an un-regulated market is causing erosion and desertification of the Mongolian grasslands, which leads to undernourished goats and a lower quality hair, causing herders to breed more goats to meet the increasing demand, creating a never ending and un-sustainable cycle.

In addition, the Mongolian winter has temperatures at 20 below zero.  These goats have very little fat on their bodies and their neck hair serves as important insulation. It's no surprise organizations like PETA have mounted campaigns asking retailers not to carry traditional animal fiber cashmere. 

ABOUT VEGETABLE CASHMERE 

Vegetable Cashmere is a proprietary, 100% plant-based fabric primarily composed of soy protein spun from pulp borne from tofu production. It requires no additional resources from the Earth to produce.  It is soft, silky, and loaded with plant proteins that nourish the skin.  It will keep you warm in cold weather,  and remain cool and comfortable in hot weather. It's perfect for the yoga mat and dance floor.  No goats or animals are harmed or inconvenienced in the production of garments made from Vegetable Cashmere.    

 "I love this shirt!" - Rodney Yee  

Rodney Yee with Colleen Saidman Yee; Rodney is comfortable shopping in his Vegetable Cashmere t-shirt.
  • 13 items, available in a variety of colors (see above), and sizes (see chart, below). 
  • Tops are women only. All other items are unisex.
  • All choices are made after the campaign.
  • To pledge for multiple items, choose a "combo" reward, using the "points" system.  

 WOMEN'S TOPS (4)     

UNISEX FASHION (7)  

 ACCESSORIES (2)

Fitted Ballerina Top and Soft-Fit Leggings
L to R: Fitted Ballerina Top; Unisex Pullover Hoodie; Flowy Ballerina Top

 Meet The Team 

 David Lee - Co-Founder and President

After a stint as a professional dancer with the Oakland Ballet and Alonso King's Lines, David founded KD with Tricia Kaye. They moved to New York and set up their own manufacturing facility utilizing state of the art knitting technology to create cutting edge dance and yoga knit collections. David has been on the forefront of  trends and always keeps his eyes peeled for the next big thing. David studied knit technology at Stoll Germany and Shima Seiki in Japan. David created KD New York to expand the brand into athleisure beyond its dance origins. The collections have been previously featured in Vogue, Italian Vogue, Elle, and the New York Times Magazine. 

L to R: Holly Stevenson, Robin Wagner, and Jesse Nepywoda

Holly Stevenson - Brand Consultant 

Holly Stevenson is an accomplished creative director with two decades of experience in brand development. She creates integrated, cross-channel content, and has significant experience with new or novel product launches. An expert synthesizer of the cultural landscape, she crafts authentic and aesthetically sophisticated brand communications that meaningfully connect with audiences. Holly has served on the faculty of Parson’s School of Design and her work has been exhibited internationally. She lives in New York City. 

Robin Wagner - Product Design and Development

Robin came to NYC as a designer of stage clothing for nationally touring rock bands. While in NYC, she graduated from FIT with honors and began knitting runway samples for 7th Avenue designers such as Calvin Klein. She’s become a knitwear design and development expert for both sexes, as well as a product developer and merchandiser. She was the founder and creative voice for her own men's lifestyle RTW line, and is a former consultant to the  International Trade Centre on women's education in developing countries. Her clients have included Neiman Marcus, Sak’s Fifth Avenue, Barney’s New York,  Anthropologie, and American Rag among others. Robin is currently on the faculty at Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, teaching fashion knitwear design and programming, product development, and textile-surface design.

 Jesse Nepywoda - Operations and Manufacture 

Jesse is a knitwear production consultant. He has worked with top factories and designers in the U.S., and has developed a keen understanding of the steps needed to turn a sketch of a sweater into an actual sweater. He also has an established discipline in sales management. In his free time, he plays with his own knitting machines and 3D printers. He has a unique understanding of how people and technology function together to produce a great knit garment, and will be key player to ensuring Vegetable Cashmere's success.

WHY KICKSTARTER?

We came to Kickstarter for independence and community. Independence allows us to fully control the manufacture and design process to ensure that sustainability standards are highly prioritized.  Community allows us to engage with supportive customers, and create interactive dialogue for increasing and evolving the collection. 

QUESTIONS?

If you have questions, feel free to ask. David and his team are pleased to engage.  At the top of the page on the left there is a small round image of David.  Click that, then click CONTACT ME to send your private message.

Risks and challenges

Designing and manufacturing a unique line like Vegetable Cashmere is a painstaking process that requires meticulous attention to detail, from the creation of the yarn, to the knitting. KD has tested Vegetable Cashmere extensively, and has manufactured it in small lots.

KD has over 40 years of experience in designing and manufacturing premium quality athleisure knits, to an established base of customers worldwide. KD will use the fullest breadth of its experience to deliver beautiful product that backers will love and cherish for years to come. With the success of this Kickstarter, KD will scale up operations, and select the best manufacturing options, on-shore and off-shore, as the skill and technology demands.

We are confident that - with success of this KIckstarter - all Rewards will be delivered on time, and at the highest level.

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Support

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more About $2

    "$10 OFF" CERTIFICATE

    Thanks for your support! You will receive a "$10 off" certificate, valid on Vegetable Cashmere orders made AFTER the Kickstarter (based on the prevailing prices at that time). Each certificate is numbered. It is also transferable. FYI - this same certificate is also included FREE as a bonus, with EVERY other Reward level (always valid only with orders placed AFTER the Kickstarter).

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    CELL PHONE POUCH

    The essential cell phone travel companion. Portable, protective, easy access. Includes 48" knitted strap.

    Includes:
    • Cell Phone Pouch
    • $10 off certificate - for next order.
    • ONE point.
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    BEANIE

    Comfy and cozy. Contoured. Keeps your brain warm. 2"fold. Contains 2% Lycra. Unisex. One size fits all.

    Includes:
    • Beanie
    • $10 off certificate - for next order.
    • ONE point.
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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    ARM WARMERS - LEG WARMERS

    Arm Warmers: 16" length; 3" thumb hole; contoured fit. Unisex. One size fits most. Contains 2% Lycra. Leg Warmers: 30" length; ruffle-edge hem. Unisex. One size fits most. Contains 2% Lycra.

    Includes:
    • Arm Warmers OR Leg Warmers
    • $10 off certificate - for next order.
    • ONE point.
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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    UNISEX T-SHIRT

    THE essential lifestyle basic. Versatile (under a jacket, over a cami), and super-comfortable in Vegetable Cashmere. Crew neck, contoured, below hip length.

    Includes:
    • Unisex T-Shirt
    • $10 off certificate - for next order.
    • TWO points.
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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    CAMISOLE TOP

    The perfect layering piece. Super-soft. Hip length. Thin straps, relaxed fit, raw neck and finish.

    Includes:
    • Camisole Top
    • $10 off certificate - for next order.
    • TWO points.
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    SOFT-FIT LEGGINGS

    They gently stretch across the contours of your hips and legs. Versatile - ideal for workouts, lounging, and street wear. Breathable, with waist high elastic band. Unisex. Contains 2% Lycra.

    Includes:
    • Soft-Fit Leggings
    • $10 off certificate - for next order.
    • TWO points.
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    FITTED OR FLOWY BALLERINA TOP

    FITTED TOP: The go-to top for working out or going out. Elasticized neck and back, hip length, ruffle-edged sleeves, on-the-body fit. KD New York's top seller for 40 years, now in Vegetable Cashmere. Contains 2% Lycra. FLOWY TOP: Ultra comfortable, maximizes freedom of movement. Wide neck, low back cut, drop stich sleeve, across-the-back strap. Contains 2% Lycra.

    Includes:
    • Fitted OR Flowy Ballerina Top
    • $10 off certificate - for next order.
    • THREE points.
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    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    SHAWL WRAP TOP

    The "companion cover-up", it wraps you in comfort. Can be worn tied or draped. Below hip length. Inset sleeve, relaxed fit, tubular trim.

    Includes:
    • Shawl Wrap Top
    • $10 off certificate - for next order.
    • THREE points.
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    Pledge $140 or more About $140

    BAGGY DRAWSTRING PANTS

    For dance/yoga/gym; or lounge; or street wear. Unisex. Loose, baggy fit. Adjustable drawstring, hip length rise, elastic ankle cuff. Once you own a pair of these in Vegetable Cashmere, you won't want to wear anything else.

    Includes:
    • Baggy Drawstring Pants
    • $10 off certificate - for next order.
    • FOUR points.
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    Pledge $160 or more About $160

    UNISEX PULLOVER HOODIE OR ZIP HOODIE

    For him, or for her - basically, whoever grabs it first. PULLOVER: Raglan shoulder, oversized body, below hip length, long cut back. ZIP: Off the shoulder inset, knuckle-length seeve, oversized body, below hip length. These hoodies were simply made for the sustainablwe softness of Vegetable Cashmere.

    Includes:
    • Unisex Hoodie - Pullover OR Zip
    • $10 off certificate - for next order.
    • FOUR points.
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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    COMBO #1 - 6 POINTS (Multiple Items)

    Each item in the Vegetable Cashmere Athleisure Collection is assigned a point value (either 1,2, 3, or 4 points). With this Reward, you can MIX AND MATCH items totaling 6 points.

    (Example: 2 items @ 3 points each - OR - 1 item @ 4 points together with another item @ 2 points; you get the idea!) All choices - items, colors, sizes - are made AFTER the campaign.

    Includes:
    • COMBINATION of items totaling 6 POINTS
    • $10 off certificate - for next order.
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    Pledge $390 or more About $390

    COMBO #2 - 12 POINTS (Mulitple Items)

    Each item in the Vegetable Cashmere Athleisure Collection is assigned a point value (either 1,2, 3, or 4 points). With this Reward, you can MIX AND MATCH items totaling 12 points.

    (Example: 4 items @ 3 points each - OR - 2 items @ 4 points together with another 2 items @ 2 points; you get the idea!) All choices - items, colors, sizes - are made AFTER the campaign.

    Includes:
    • COMBINATION of items totaling 12 POINTS
    • $10 off certificate - for next order.
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    Pledge $770 or more About $770

    COMBO #3 - 25 POINTS (Multiple Items)

    Each item in the Vegetable Cashmere Athleisure Collection is assigned a point value (either 1,2, 3, or 4 points). With this Reward, you can MIX AND MATCH items totaling 25 points.

    (Example: 4 items @ 4 points each together with 3 items @ 3 points each - OR - 5 items @ 3 points each together with another 5 items @ 2 points each; you get the idea!) All choices - items, colors, sizes - are made AFTER the campaign.

    Includes:
    • COMBINATION of items totaling 25 POINTS
    • $10 off certificate - for next order.
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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    COMBO #4 - 50 POINTS (Multiple Items)

    Perfect for gift giving!

    Each item in the Vegetable Cashmere Athleisure Collection is assigned a point value (either 1,2, 3, or 4 points). With this Reward, you can MIX AND MATCH items totaling 50 points.

    (Example: 15 items @ 2 points each together with 5 items @ 4 points each - OR - 10 items @ 4 points each together with another 10 items @ 1 point each; you get the idea!)

    All choices - items, colors, sizes - are made AFTER the campaign.Mix any combination of points to pledge for multiple items.

    Includes:
    • COMBINATION of items totaling 50 POINTS
    • $10 off certificate - for next order.
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