DeFeet Bespoke is, in their words, the “world’s first cycling specific crowdfunding site.”
It’s a new division for the brand created so they could do more creative projects and share some unique, limited run products. In the future, it may also be a way for teams or athletes to throw a design on there to raise money for the team. Or it could have design collaborations with artists, like the Woolie Boolie socks shown above that use garden-picked dyes from Asheville artist Melanie Wilder of Wild Earth Textiles.
For these types of items, they are smaller runs that cost more to produce, so using a crowdfunding, direct-to-consumer program for these small batch items makes it economically feasible.
Projects will run for up to four weeks and be 100% funded to go into production. The system will save funders’ payment info because to fund a project, you’ll need to back an item individually. Put simply, if you wanted three pair of those blue Woolie Boolies, you’d have to fund three separate pairs, so having your payment info saved in their system makes that quicker and easier.
Besides allowing them to do quick projects and collaborations, DeFeet founder Shane Cooper plans to use it to reboot a long dormant clothing line. In 2001, a fire at their factory wiped out a clothing line that they were just starting. Since then, they hadn’t pulled the trigger to relaunch the clothing line, even though many of them are still wearing the prototypes. With DeFeet Bespoke, they can launch the clothing again using low minimum fabric runs and limited colors and designs.
Near future products will be jackets and vests they had already designed, so the sunk cost is done. Future products will require them to do the development and prototype work prior to putting anything up on the site, which means anything they post will be ready to roll into production as soon as its funded.
The clothing line and other future products that’ll come through Bespoke will showcase an adventure theme, using To Be, Rather Than to Seem as their motto. Items will convey their own riding style through the old logging roads, gravel paths and hidden whiskey runs that litter the foothills behind DeFeet’s Hickory, NC, headquarters. Look for things like ride wallets using a grippy, locally sourced fabric used in military applications and it’ll be made by local company Yanko, for example.
Site is live with a few products on there now. Check that out and their new Barnstormers ambassador program. The goal there is to create a group of likeminded folks who just love to ride. You’ll get to share your local routes and ride highlights, product ideas and maybe even get to test some upcoming DeFeet products.