Meet Justin Towell, CEO/Owner of Kaboom! clothing company based out of downtown Vancouver. I had a chance to sit down with the passionate designer and get all the details on his new business venture. Check it out!
Hey Justin, thanks for meeting with me. First of, tell ss a little bit about the clothing line.
[Justin] My clothing line is built on the foundation of responsible living and having the ability of being continued with minimal long-term effects on the environment. Featuring amazing bamboo and organic cotton apparel for men and women that will help create awareness of sustainable living. I will also be donating $1 from every purchase to one of our three (3) featured foundations; The David Suzuki Foundation, The Canadian Red Cross, and The World Wildlife Foundation of Canada. I am proud to sponsor global humanitarian, environmental and planetary projects!
Awesome. So, what was the inspiration behind the clothing line?
[Justin] The inspiration came from my discovery and research on bamboo plants. Bamboo has astounding renewable properties, and is one of the most versatile plants on the planet. There are well over 3,000 species of bamboo on the planet. Some of which can grow up to 3ft a day and up to 80ft over 5 years. The faster they grow, the bigger they get. This woody plant which is a essentially a grass, is a great alternative to wood products because it can grow so quickly without having to be re-planted. Not only can it grow fast, but it also exchanges the carbon dioxide in our environment 30% more efficient than a tree of the same space. Imagine if we all grew bamboo in our back yards! My ability to connect with people through my brand and through an amazing product will also allow me to support my community in the relevant challenges we face day-to-day.
What is your background and what made you decide to get into this business?
[Justin] I grew up in a "great big" little hockey town of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. I grew up in an environment that offered hot sunny summer days on the Great Lakes, and an environment that offered a magical winter wonderland. It is a place where every child had a skating rink in their backyard. My appreciation for the outdoors and having grown up among amazing people has essentially steered me into the direction of this business. After working 10 years in sales and marketing, I began to realize that I sincerely enjoy educating, entertaining and helping people. I was the 4-year-old boy who sat next to every person on bus, always asking questions, always ready to spark conversations (which I still do that to this day). I got into this business so that I can continue to grow and connect with everyone around me. Through the power of branding, I hope to educate, inspire, and entertain every person I meet. I am offering solutions, alternatives, and opportunity for people to connect with and enjoy a healthier lifestyle, proving that being responsible and accountable for our actions and thoughts can be a fun and a rewarding experience. When you become a part of the "kaboom" brand, you become the driving force behind a positive change.
Sustainability seems to be a big part of the driving force behind the clothing line. Can you tell us about why sustainability is so important to you?
[Justin] I feel that as the world's population grows, we're going to need responsible companies out there that are focusing more and more on sustainability. The reality of our time, our generation, is that as we move forward to become the next corporate leaders, we have a chance to change some of the harmful policies of our predecessors. We have far more options available to us today, to launch and maintain sustainable product lines that are high quality and ethically motivated. I think people gravitate towards that. I think the social consciousness is shifting toward people being responsible consumers. Most people, given an item that costs the same, will choose the one that is manufactured responsibly. It's decisions like this by people who are educated, socially and environmentally aware, that are helping to shift the tide everywhere from the local farmer's markets to the huge corporate offices. We as consumers drive the demand for products and when we find a brand that respects our choices, we support that brand. I want to offer people the chance to get their hands on great products, but also feel connected to our brand, one that was built from the ground up to respect our customers' desire for high-quality, sustainably produced, ridiculously comfortable clothing. We are building "kaboom" because it is a brand that we want to wear, because we didn't find anyone else out there doing it for us. It is one that we'd be proud of supporting. In turn, we're helping individuals like you and I transition into the new revolution of sustainable living. However, being a socially conscious and responsible brand doesn't mean you have to get rid of all the fun! The "kaboom'" brand is about connecting with people who want great gear and want to have fun with it!
Are you planning to expand the line?
[Justin] We have been receiving an overwhelming positive interest and response to my mission, vision, and product so far. Everybody is very optimistic and excited to see the business evolve into something great. Once the last of my introductory limited edition bamboo tee are all gone, then we will be able to expand further into the men’s and women’s bamboo workout apparel and casual clothing. You can expect fantastic athletic pants for women and athletic bamboo socks and undergarments for both sexes.
What have been some of the most challenging aspects of launching a new clothing line?
[Justin] Some of the most challenging aspects of launching a new clothing line, particularly with an online store, is the constant research in this new market and the constant adjustments in finding the best solutions for getting the this amazing product to our customers. So, every day we are connecting with people in Vancouver and from all over the globe through social media, to create our brand awareness. You truly have to feel bamboo clothing to believe it's bamboo.
So the big question is... where can we purchase your clothing?
[Justin] You can pick up these very limited quantity and special edition bamboo tees from my website at (www.gokaboom.ca). We offer 10% OFF your purchase when you 'Like' and purchase your tee from our Facebook Fan Page (www.facebook.com/gokaboom). The best part of buying the tees online is our FREE shipping promo within Canada! Your best chance for finding out about the events and promos we are hosting or attending is by following us on Twitter @gokaboom. And last but not least, you can always email me directly, justin[at]gokaboom[dot]ca, to get one of our fantastic shirts. I always welcome the opportunity to interact with new faces and make new friends.
What can we expect from Kaboom in the coming year or two?
[Justin] You can expect an expanded line of men and women’s workout apparel and casual clothing. We are currently working on a few deals to bring in bamboo sports equipment. But you will have to follow us on Twitter to find out some of the cool products we have lined up for next year.
Be sure to visit www.gokaboom.ca and check out all the great clothing that Kaboom! has to offer. For another great Streeter,
- I AM JAMES.