The Problem We Are Solving?
Fast Fashion is the most selected clothing industry in the entire world compared to luxury fashion brands because of its affordability, up-to-date trend, and how easily accessible it is. With fast fashion being a $1.1 trillion dollar industry in the world it is also very detrimental as well. Not just to the planet, but for workers in concentrated textile areas like China, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, etc.
With this machine I will be able to provide new innovative jobs for people in the U.S, while also helping people overseas as well. My suppliers that I work with will be sent the fabric from this machine and they will use that to create new fast fashion styles with sewing machines, and not have to go through the dying nor yarn preparation. It would be an easy social & environmental change for the world! Old Clothing Goes through the machine > New Fabric is Created > Shipped to Suppliers Overseas & Suppliers in the U.S> Suppliers sew fabric into a new trend > shipped to Kala Kouture for selling.
What is Your Company About? How does it fix the problem?
Kala Kouture is a brand that empowers young women to be confident in what they wear, and what they spend, while feeling secure that they are shopping with a fast fashion company that has a positive environmental impact. They do not feel guilty when they purchase from us because we do not harm the planet yet we still give them the fast fashion style they crave!
The way that I am working to fix the fast fashion industry's waste and pollution emissions is with my invention idea The S.F 20. This machine will take the clothing through a reverse process that eliminates fiber production, dyeing, and yarn preparation, which makes up the 50% of carbon emissions.
Our Market Size
The market size for this venture is over 10,000,000 million people in the U.S alone, for the U.K our market size will be over 15,000,000 people, for other countries around the world that are aggressively moving to be sustainable (Australia, Norway, Africa, China, etc) our market size is over 40,000,000 people. The opportunity with this machine is endless. Ever since 2018 the second hand fast fashion industry is worth over 24 billion dollars, while the regular fast fashion industry is worth 35 billion dollars in the U.S. The opportunity I have with doing something like this can ultimately be a multi trillion dollar industry because the fabric from this machine can be used in furniture, cars, installation, baby accessories (car seats), shoes, and more!
^Here's a 2018 report from ThredUp on the Future 2nd Hand Apparel Industry worth in the U.S by 2022.
Barriers for Fabric
FACT: One of the challenges of textile recycling lies in the fact that clothing is often made of fabric blends, such as cotton-polyester.
With this in mind, the Aalto team turned to an ionic liquid (i.e: a liquid salt) known as 1,5-diazabicyclo[4.3.0]non-5-ene acetate. Previously, it had been used to dissolve cellulose from wood pulp waste, resulting in a solution that could be spun into fibers for use in eco-friendly clothing.
This time around, the scientists used the ionic liquid to dissolve the cotton in cotton/polyester blended fabrics, rendering it down to a cellulose solution. After the polyester was filtered out, that solution could then be spun into fibers, just like the cellulose from wood pulp was.
^Retrieved from: https://newatlas.com/melting-down-old-clothes/48749/
What about other fabrics?
While cotton has been paving an easy way to be recycled; what about the other clothing waste?
It is harder for fabrics like polyester, nylon, faux furs, and spandex to do the same thing because of what they are made from. I will complete the process of getting polyester, nylon, & spandex clothing to be broken down so they can be created into a new yards of fabric as well; the challenges with this is that these fabrics are man-made they do not grow naturally like cotton so to derive fibers from them is harder.
With the advanced technology we have now I sure there is a way for us to transition other fabrics besides cotton back into fibers so it can be made into new items.
Barriers for Small Sustainable Fashion Businesses
The barriers that I face are being a small business and not having the connections that are needed for this invention. Having a small company in the fast fashion industry can be/has been very trying especially when your growing and changing consumers viewpoint on how fast fashion is harmful the planet, but there is no answer on how to REALLY fix the waste problem without having the funding to do it. With huge competitors like Fashion Nova, H&M, and many more it is harder for me to have extra money on hand to use for development of this idea and to find engineers and scientists to network with that can help me with the model, and the chemical compound aspect in this machine (melting of the different fabrics).
With the environment on my mind I still have to make sure I keep up with the trends in my industry while also staying extremely consistent with marketing + new arrivals so I will not be left behind. I do this all by myself so that makes it 10X harder to get things done compared to other companies.
I have my personal finances that have to paid as well (bills, groceries, etc) so by the time everything is paid I only have some money left for my idea, which is not enough to make it come to pass.
I am seeking funding so I am able to make this invention come to life by getting the engineers, technology, and prototypes needed. I will use the funding for development, scientific research, engineers, prototypes, connections/networking opportunities with scientists, and marketing.
The Start > Future Plans
So far i have applied to innovative entreprenuer organizations that help can help me with my invention, but everyone that contacts me back needs me to travel to different places in the U.S.A, and lets face it, I obviously do not have that kind of money for the travel expenses. With 14.3% of this funding I will be able to go to these organizations, and start the physical process of creating different prototypes, and talking to a professionals that can help me. With over 52.4% of the funding I will use it for engineering help & for the development of this invention!
My future plans for Kala Kouture is to purchase a building in South Hill, VA (an old corporate office), and making it 100% solar powered, and have this machine placed in there so it will be run off of solar energy. I hope this building in South Hill, Va can become our first distribution center of many that will create more jobs, and start a confident movement around the world in using what we have on earth to create new products that are affordable + what consumers want! I hope to be able to network with companies overseas & in the U.S that want to be sustainable; will use our fabric produced, for their product pieces as well (couches, chairs, mattresses, house accessories, instillation, car seats, carpeting, upholstered furnishing, window shades, towels, and table covers, etc) so then my company will ship items all around the world for sustainable products.
Founder + CEO
Who is Markala?
Markala Tucker is the Founder and CEO of www.KalaKouture.com. I'm from a small town (Chase City, VA) where the opportunity to leave & follow your dreams is slime to none because of the oppressing environment that is closed minded and behind compared to the rest of our society. Where I'm from there aren't many opportunities to follow your dreams and really make something of yourself unless you have the money to do so; when my mom was offered a job in Charlotte, NC that is when my journey really began. When I was in middle school everyone called me Kay-La Cakes, so I wanted to have that in my brand name because it keeps me humbled & continually reminds me where I am from + where I am going. I created this brand my junior year of high school because of my passion of being able to express myself through clothes. I used KOUTURE (pronounced Couture) because I wanted Chic-ness added to the name; so Kala Kouture < where street & chic meet.
When I furthered my education at Rowan Cabarrus Community College with a concentration in Business Marketing, that is when I realized that something I loved doing, had such a negative impact on our environment and on people. I was horrified that I contributed to an industry that took so much away from our planet & people. I decided I was going to make a change for the better. Starting off small by eliminating all plastic use within my company, conversing with my suppliers about their factory conditions, and using biodegradable poly-mailers while educating consumers + my peers on the fashion industry's waste; I realized these small steps can open big doors for environmental + social change that is a win win for everyone around the world.
My stretch goal is $80,000, the extra $20,000 will be used for expansion of this entire process with traveling out of the country to laboratories that help businesses that want to make innovative technology for their company (no matter what they sale) that is environmentally focused. The extra $$ will also be used for extra costs that will be added onto patenting this invention, new technologies that may have to be created for it, and paying manufacturers +engineers; I know this process will be long, but I also know it will most definitely be worth it! Any extra money that is sewn into my brand will always be greatly appreciated! No matter the amount! Everyone will receive a virtual thank you note; and if you are getting mailed items you will also receive an hand-written thank you note!
Thank you all so so much for watching my video and supporting my idea! I can not wait to make it come to life, and with all of your help it is a huge reason why it will! I really do appreciate every single one of you, and I'm so blessed to have this platform to do it! Make sure you share with your colleagues, friends, and family! Let's Reverse the Future together!