Stone & Cloth’s Bags Help Send Kids Back to School

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These days it seems that it isn’t enough for a product to be well designed; it must also carry a sense of social responsibility. This trend is a reaction to the discussion of what the real cost of globalized commercialism is, spurred by exposes on companies from Nike to Apple to Amazon. For apparel especially, this can be a difficult issue to breach, but LA-based Stone and Cloth may have found a niche solution in the design of their Summit Collection. Inspired by a trip to Africa to climb Kilimanjaro, founder Matthew Clough was struck by listening to his porter explain how he doesn’t make enough money to send his children to school. Upon returning to LA, Clough and his company devised their Summit Collection around the promise to donate a portion of each bag sold to support education programs in Africa. But alongside this noble cause, the company also has tried to extend this fairness to its customer base by cutting costs through the use of a Kickstarter campaign. Instead of bringing the bags to retailers and seeing them take up to 65% of the retail price for themselves, this exclusively online approach would ensure customers pay a fair price for quality merchandise. Adding further to the social responsibility of the product, all of the bags are made in the USA, just a few miles from Stone and Cloth’s studio. Measures like these help support local businesses and help decrease the demand that fuels the sweatshop system that has had a stranglehold on the industry for so long. And it doesn’t hurt that the bags look nice too. Sporting an array of styles and sizes, from rucks to backpacks to totes to note bags, the bags offer an option for every budget, use and taste. This commitment to good design that supports a good cause may require a bit more work to get going, but the effort goes a long way towards affecting positives changes in a well-established market.

Nathaniel Barlam

Nathaniel

Amid the unrest of earning his Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from RISD, Nathaniel manages to find the time to read, write, hang out with friends, play drums, and listen to music. Nathaniel has learned a lot about architecture firsthand thanks to opportunities to live and work in Rome and Brooklyn during the past year. Coming from a family with strong roots in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Nathaniel has always maintained a strong love for NYC especially, and after his studies finish up in Providence he may move there for a while. He hasn't decided yet. You can connect with him via Linkedin or by visiting his Portfolio page.

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