If you've been jonesing to start your own eco-friendly clothing line, this innovative Web venture could have your name written all over it—along with about 20,000 others. Launched in December 2007, and based on a newish concept called "crowdfunding," nvohk (pronounced "invoke") is the first community-managed, eco-friendly, surf-inspired clothing company.
The Los Angeles-based company is currently recruiting between 20,000 to 40,000 members to each contribute $50 per year to develop the nvohk brand. As a member, you'll contribute to major business decisions, such as logo design, Web design, product design, and advertising. But that's not all. Members will also get 35 percent of nvohk's profits in the form of points that can be redeemed to purchase products, plus 25 percent off all nvohk goods. Meanwhile, another 10 percent will be donated to environmental organizations members select.
Your membership—and the collection of dues—will only be activated once 20,000 people have been recruited. To welcome you, first-time members will get a nvohk T-shirt, a member sticker, and a "plant-a-tree" seed pack.
Whether nvohk is worth your coin is debatable, especially when you're not getting cash back. (How many surf-themed togs does one person need?) Then again, how many of us get to say we run our own business? At the very least, making joint decisions with tens of thousands of partners will be an eye-opening ride. ::nvohk