For those of you who lack time and patience to read through the whole story, here's a snippet of our deal.
Basically, we are making only 3,200 of these cool wallets to match the actual number of tigers left in the wild, and using the proceeds to launch our own brand around protecting the tigers and other endangered animals.
You get to feel good about yourself using an awesome limited edition wallet that has a unique story, and we get to fight the poachers in the rainforest in Asia on your behalf.
Well, read on!
IT WAS THE SUMMER OF 2013..
When I went on a hiking trip to a rainforest in Laos, SouthEast Asia. In preparing for what was going to be a full day's hike, I asked my local guide jokingly (but not really) whether I should be scared of being attacked by a wild tiger. I'll never forget the wistful look in his eyes as he assured me,
"No sir, there is no tiger in the forest."
Sure enough, during a whole day's hike, I haven't spotted a SINGLE animal. That left an impression on me. After returning home safe from my trip to an empty rainforest, I did some research and found out a shocking fact.
There are estimated to be only 3,200 tigers left on our entire planet. Apparently that's mainly because some people would pay up to $5,000 for tiger penis they believe is a potent viagra. Can you believe that?
And within a decade, there may be no wild tigers left on Earth. Zero. Then we'll have a hard time explaining to our children what that cool animal is on the cereal box, and why we couldn't prevent it from disappearing.
I wanted to do something about it. I found two more guys who were just as crazy and passionate about this topic, and got to work.
We want to launch our own fashion brand to tackle this problem, and we need your help.
Our brand is called Quagga. It's a name of a half-zebra, half-horse animal that roamed the South African prairies in millions only about a hundred years ago. Then due to overhunting and loss of habitat, they have gone extinct. The last Quagga was seen in 1883. They have since been lost from everyone's memory.
We want to help prevent tigers from walking this same path to extinction.
With your help, we will build a brand that makes high quality products with unique design that raises awareness about the problem of endangered animals.
We are starting with Tigers, but if we are successful, we can eventually introduce different collections dedicated to different animals. Imagine having a Tiger Collection wallet, wearing Grey Wolf Collection socks, and carrying Dolphin Collection bags!
We are starting with a leather wallet because we believe a wallet can say surprisingly lot about you as a person. Are you practical? Disorganized? Fashionable? Or are you the type of person who carries around a limited edition wallet that saves the tigers? :P
Here's the crucial question:
Let me explain.
1. THE MATERIAL
We wanted to explore different alternatives to traditional leather, which reportedly kills over 130 million cows each year, and pollutes the environment with all kinds of nasty chemicals.
Through a friend who worked at Reebok, we learned about a new material that sports brands like Nike, Adidas and Reebok use on their best selling products for its superior durability and eco-friendly properties. This is the same material that was once adopted by Spaldng to make official NBA basketballs!
Clarino is a microfibre base material made in Japan. It is the highest grade synthetic leather in the market, just as pricey as full grain real leather. Although you've probably never heard about it, chances are you have already seen or touched it. It is:
- 3x more durable than real leather
- Water wicking - doesn't get damaged from water
- UV resistant - doesn't turn brittle from over exposure to sunlight
- Minimal impact on the environment
2. THE DESIGN
We designed our wallet to be as slim as possible, without compromising on quality thanks to Clarino leather. And because it also feels exactly like genuine leather, it will give you the classy look that cheap polyester or tyvek paper wallets can't give you. You can see our product photos down below.
3. THE CAUSE
We are only making 3,200 of Tiger Collection wallets. This is in order to:
- Raise awareness about the problems tigers are facing by matching the number of wallets with the number of actual tigers left in the wild
- Raise enough money to make the first production run and launch our own brand online
After we've sold 3,200 wallets, the line will become extinct. So hurry and go get yourself not just a wallet, but a piece of a greater cause!
Our wallets come in two types: The regular Quagga wallets, and the Endangered Tiger Collection. They also come in two design/sizes: single cardholder vs. larger bifold.
*WARNING: Below photos of our samples have been seriously understated on purpose to prevent you from potential heart-attack. Also the colors you see in the photos may vary from real life due to lighting effects, etc.
We have seen too many KickStarter projects "OVER-PROMISE", and "UNDER-DELIVER". We have decided to take this approach other way around. We are giving ourselves enough time to figure everything that is needed to give you the perfect product and the most pleasant experience overall.
We expect production of our wallets to be done by April at the latest, and start shipping our wallet around the world from May. But we promise we will do all that we can to expedite the process and get our awesome wallets in your hands as fast as possible. =)
WHERE THE FUNDS GO
As part of KickStarter Rules, we are prohibited from raising money for charity, or donating the funds to charity. However, after raising enough money to launch our brand online and make the first production run, we will look for professional organizations who will partner with us in the future to help us tackle the problem and save the tigers together.
We have done our research, even reached out to Barney Long, Director of Species Conservation Program at WWF (World Wildlife Fund) to discuss how we could best help address this problem.
These are some specific actions we could take to help the tigers:
- Demand Reduction - Single biggest reason behind tigers' demise is the rising demand for its body parts in Asia. We would create ads with clear messaging that is meant to educate and demystify local men's beliefs about benefits of consuming wild animal body parts
- Support the Rangers - We would support the rangers who are putting their lives on the line by patrolling around the protected areas fighting dangerous poachers who are in many cases much better armed & equipped
- Habitat Protection - We would visit and learn more about the real issues at tiger conservation units (pockets of protected forests in Southeast Asia) where governments and NPOs are increasing efforts to keep the poachers out
If you have any other ideas on how best we could help the tigers, or know of any organization that would be interested in working with us, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
There may never be a good reason to see such magnificent animal species go extinct, but losing them due to rising demand from uneducated people who want to use tiger body parts as status symbol, lucky charm, or viagra, is NOT a reason I want to explain to my children.
So please, get yourself a truly unique wallet that you KNOW will make a difference in this world, and follow us on our journey to stop Tigers from extinction!
Evan is the design guru in our team. He's based in Philly, loves shoes, and going camping in the woods. He used to work for Reebok, but has since moved on and is now doing solo.
Morten is a Danish fashionista. He spends half the year in China working with the factories, and half the year back in Copenhagen fishing and bike riding with his childhood friends.
We're a team of three including myself. I look sad in the picture because I was thinking about tigers.
We want to thank every one of our friends, family, and those who have helped us along the way in more ways than we can hope to express. Also, we want to especially thank these people who have shown exceptional commitment to making our project a reality.
Andrew Thompson - For amazing design of the tiger, generosity and outstanding professionalism.
Charles Chan - For our amazing video, demonstration of incredible professionalism, and relentless dedication to perfection.
Save The Tiger - For doing an awesome job promoting awareness around the imminent extinction of tigers, and helping our project reach more people.
Inhabitat - For believing in the same motto, that "Good Design Will Save The World", and helping our project reach more people.
Risks and challenges
Sourcing : If (When! Yusss) we have successfully funded through KickStarter, the first thing that we must do is to source the material from Clarino in Japan. And since we are ordering custom color option (Pantone C137) for the orange wallets, it may take some time for the supplier to make custom order and ship the materials to our factory in China. But we are already in talks with the supplier, and we will do everything in our power to deliver our product to you in timely awesome manner. =)
Manufacturing : We are working with 3 different factories to make our wallets, our own woven label, 100% recycled paper box for packaging, and a secret card (yes, we just told you our little secret because we're pretty sure no one's going to read this far). As you can imagine, that would require lot of coordination work. And in China, 'anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.' But fear not! We have prior experience living in, and sourcing from Asia, and have already confirmed price and delivery ability with the same manufacturers that made our samples. One of the members of our team will also visit China in Spring to supervise and oversee production.
Product Adjustments : As we continue to strive to improve the quality of our end product, we may need to make some small adjustments along the way. But worry not. These will always be for the benefit of you, the user - and we'll let you know any time we improve something anyway.
Shipping & Customs : KickStarter campaigns regularly fulfill orders worldwide without any issues, and we expect this to be the case with ours, too. However we don't pretend to have intimate customs knowledge of the entire world. We'll work hard to avoid your rewards getting held up at customs, but in the end we can't guarantee you won't experience delays or be charged. There's always a risk (just like stepping out your front door in the morning).
In summary, there will no doubt be some twists and turns in the road ahead, but with your help, we'll all be well on our way to deliver an awesome product in your hands, and save the tigers from extinction.
Cheers!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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