In empowering the Artisan
In celebrating Uniqueness
In our right to Transparency
In spreading Ideas through Commerce
We believe in the power of Technology to make these happen.
The IOU Project is a study in the creation of a Prosperity Chain; an experiment to rethink how goods are produced and sold in a way that benefits everyone and protects the environment.
THE IOU PROJECT FAQ's
What makes IOU Different?
The IOU Project makes unique, handmade, traceable apparel. That alone is exciting. But the real difference lies deeper. Because each fabric is unique, we provide end buyers with the ability to trace the process from finished item right down to the weaver that hand-wove the fabric. The stories of how that item was created, of the people involved, of the customers who purchased them, are the essence of the e-commerce social network which The IOU Project has built as a meeting place for a community that shares our brand values of authenticity, transparency, uniqueness and both social and environmental responsibility.
How is each item unique?
Each item is made from a different two meter textile known as a Lungi, a fabric hand-woven for centuries in the Tamil Nadu region of India. - we're talking the REAL Madras check.
Are IOU items really handmade?
Yes! The fabric is made by hand in India, and the actual assembly of the items in Europe is also a very elaborate handmade process. Our videos can give you an idea of this amazing process.
How do you track each item? Why bother?
Each IOU item has a distinct code that allows buyers to know exactly who wove their fabric and which artisan company assembled it. We like traceability because we think people will enjoy knowing how and where their clothing comes from. We also think that this knowledge helps foster a sense of shared social and environmental responsibility.
How does IOU help the weavers?
Weavers enrolled in The IOU Project agree to work to a higher standard. The IOU Project offers them an additional cash compensation equal to 100% of the wage they customarily receive for weaving each fabric.
What do you mean the IOU Project is a Movement?
We are as much a fashion brand as we are an idea - that business, when carried out with true transparency and authenticity, can elicit extraordinary and unexpected reactions, and foster a sense of shared responsibility from its customers, partners and suppliers - towards each other and towards the environment. This key attribute of any organized social group can become a catalyst for change well beyond the initial scope of our fashion business, causing a positive feedback loop - what we call a Prosperity Chain. We would like people to join us in taking this idea to places we can't even imagine.
Why do you want a photo of me wearing an IOU item?
When you buy an IOU item, you complete a story that began in India, continued in Europe and ended up with you. Before the Internet these processes were connected but hidden from view. Now they don't need to be. Your picture wearing an IOU item will fill the weavers and artisans with pride, and also remind you that you are part of their chain.
How else can I remain engaged?
We created an e-commerce tool to recruit people just like you; we call then Trunk Show Hosts and their mission is to help spread our message. When you become a Trunk Show Host you are joining our Prosperity Chain. You can make money selling IOU goods, and we think that's great. But more importantly it's a tool that helps spread ideas through commerce. We want people to engage in discussing ideas for new models of business that question the way products are made and sold. We believe goods can be made in a way that is more respectful of the environment and of the people involved. We believe it can be done; The IOU Project is our small contribution to this change.