Andrew was the owner of Lucid Lifestyle, which was my favourite sustainable clothing store in Edmonton for a long time. He has since moved on to Vancouver and created Pillar Heights. And now – you can back Pillar Heights Kickstarter for the world’s most sustainable and comfortable bicycle jersey!
The Kickstarter campaign supports Pillar Heights in creating the world’s most ethical and sustainable cycling jersey while feeding the homeless and supporting children in need through Unicef. There are rewards from just $5, supporting the homeless in the East Hastings neighbourhood in Vancouver.
Here’s what Andrew has to say about the Kickstarter campaign and his design of the world’s most sustainable and comfortable bicycle jersey:
Why did you start this campaign?
As a cyclist I care about the planet and was driven to make a sustainable alternative to petroleum-based apparel. I was inspired to design a jersey that is superior in performance properties and aesthetics – creating the type of jersey I would love to own, but simply didn’t exist. With my knowledge of fashion and textiles, I created the Pillar Heights Technical Hemp Jersey, designed for comfort, to be visually appealing off and on the bicycle, reducing tan line appearance, and implementing fabric that actually has natural properties that compliment a cyclist’s ride. I’ve seen $2 – $20 donation pledges on Kickstarter with no rewards in return to the supporter. While it’s beautiful to see such great support from the community, I could never accept money without returning the favor. So I created the pay it forward model.
Why support Unicef?
Unicef is committed to protecting and enhancing childhood experiences and health. Unicef is committed to helping the poorest and most vulnerable children in the world improve their lives. That’s an issue we are passionate about at Pillar Heights.
Why East Hastings?
This is my neighbourhood. If you live in Gastown, you live in East Hastings. There’s no line between the two neighbourhoods and the people who call Downtown East Side home. We share parks, sidewalks, head nods and small talk on the regular. Currently in the Downtown East Side there is an epidemic of fentanyl overdoses, and the area has had its issues with poverty, sex trade, mental illness, homelessness, infectious disease and crime. I’d like to put some time and energy into making it a better place for the people who call it home. I’ve always had homeless friends back in Edmonton, and found myself connecting instantly with the homeless here in Vancouver while walking the dogs. Our small talk leads to conversations which leads to relationships.
Manufacturing Ethically both in China and Canada
In China I have a great relationship with a Fair Wear Foundation certified factory, so anything that’s made in China will be ethically made at European standards. Positive initiatives on good business are happening in China and I want to encourage and support the growth of that movement. In Canada I am working with a garment specialist who is located a couple blocks from my condo. It’s beautiful to be working with your neighbours. At any point during the day I can walk into the factory, lend a hand, or grab a drink with the staff and craftsman building our clients’ cycling goods. There’s no reason for us to cut corners or margin and have our collection made in an unethical or unsustainable manner. I’m here to prove that good business is possible.
I found my hemp shirts to be the best for travelling in hot and humid climates. That’s when I experimented and had a hemp fabric jersey made for me by a personal seamstress. Since then I have been working with fabric mills to create better performing fabrics and local seamstresses to work on the perfect design. Hemp is naturally UV protective and antimicrobial. It’s also porous (so it pulls sweat away from the body) and is thermoregulating. These are all properties that are natural to hemp, so they never wash away. Hemp is good for the planet. It requires no chemicals to grow, uses 3 times less water than cotton, detoxifies the soil it grows in and produces 3 times more fiber than competing crops. Hemp isn’t just used for clothing, it’s food, medicine, shelter and much more!
I designed the jersey to work both for the commuter and the competitive cyclist. I want to encourage more people to ride their bicycles for fitness, pleasure, and to get from place to place in a more sustainable manner. And I want them to be as comfortable as possible while using their bicycle, no matter why they’re on it. I understand the power bicycle commuting could have in combating the effects of climate change. My goal is to get more people riding bicycles. According to the European Cycling Federation (ECF) in 2011, the bicycle came with an emission rate of 21 grams of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) compared to the average emission of car users at 271g/km and 101g/km for a bus riders. When could you ever say your cycling jersey was good for the environment, supports small business, and gives back? That’s a whole lot of good!
Will you support Pillar Heights Kickstarter for the World’s Most Sustainable and Comfortable Bicycle Jersey?
(Disclosure: I am a participant in the Kickbooster program for this campaign. All opinions expressed are my own. No other compensation was received for this post.)