New apparel company is the latest running brand to hit Kickstarter.
Is it possible to build better running shorts and capris? And can it be done with American-made materials and manufactured in the U.S.?
That’s what Vince Chu, founder of an upstart Seattle-based brand called Yesler Apparel, will be embarking on this fall. The 32-year-old Chu says Yesler will use fabrics sourced in North Carolina, thread from New York and drawstrings from Missouri, and it will manufacture its garments in a family-owned factory in Washington.
The brand started a Kickstarter campaign today, hoping to raise $18,000 by Oct. 9.
Kickstarter has seen several interesting running-related projects in recent years, some of which have been fully funded and very successful. Kickstarter running start-ups have included the current request from RunScribe running gait technology and past initiatives like the Radiate Athletic apparel that changes color as your body temperature increases, the ARCH running shoe project, Wool Runners running shoes and the Mio Alpha Heart Rate Monitor project.
Chu says Yesler will make running shorts for men and capris for women using smart designs, top materials and a blend of function and fashion.
The shorts will feature a tailored, performance-oriented fit, extra-wide waistband, flat, reinforced seams, an inseam panel that allows full range of movement, tubular, braided drawstrings for strength and durability, and generous front pockets for pre- and post-run activities.
The capris will feature a four-way stretch fabric that is moisture-wicking on the interior and abrasion resistant on the exterior and provides form-fitting comfort without sheerness or suffocation. Flat seams, a mid-rise top and a triangle-shaped gusset to prevent the crotch area from riding up are other features.
The brand’s name is inspired by Henry Yesler, a 19th century Seattle entrepreneur and businessman. Its core team is made up of individuals who formerly worked at brands like Nike, Eddie Bauer and Oiselle.
Chu says that for every 500 units of merchandise it sells via Kickstarter, Yesler will create a new manufacturing job at its sewing factory.
“Just because it’s cheaper to make it somewhere else, doesn’t mean we can’t make it here,” Chu says.