KNO Clothing Makes Ending Homelessness a Fashion Statement
by Kirin Rinehart, 09/06/11
Donating clothes to the less fortunate is hardly a novel concept; many apparel labels have been making it part of their corporate schtick for years. KNO Clothing blows them all away, not only by providing clothing to the homeless but also by funding the shelters that help the disenfranchised regroup and reintegrate. Founded in 2010 by college friends Anthony Thomas and Stephen Caldwell, KNO is based on the idea that clothing, like housing, is a fundamental human right. For every KNO garment you purchase, the company donates one to a person experiencing homelessness in the United States. Plus, KNO gives 50 percents of its profits to partners working to end homelessness in 85 different communities across the country, including Bethesda Missionand the 100,000 Homes Campaign.
The clothes are as sustainable as the brand’s mission, comprising a mix of fair-trade and organic cotton, recycled polyester, and natural rayon polymers. More than supplying natty threads, KNO wants to spark “a movement of people who believe in the good life,” Thomas tells Ecouterre. To date, the company has donated more than 300 articles of clothing and helped house 10,500 people in need.
With more than 1.5 million homeless in the U.S. alone, according to the U.S. Interagency Council on the Homeless, KNO has its work cut out.
With more than 1.5 million homeless in America alone, according to the U.S. Interagency Council on the Homeless, KNO has its work cut out, but Thomas and Caldwell plan to grow the brand so their charitable efforts can reach even more communities. “KNO gives people the clothing they ask for,” they say. “This usually means socks which helps people experiencing homelessness to stay warm, stay dry, and stay clean during a difficult time in their lives.”