Sustainable Lifestyle Brand Raises $1M in Angel Round

Sustainable Lifestyle Brand Raises $1M in Angel Round

KOKOLU, a sustainable lifestyle DTC brand that aims to inspire global consumers to make fundamental changes to their lifestyles with its eco-friendly products.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, October 26, 2021 / -- KOKOLU, a sustainable lifestyle direct-to-consumer brand that aims to inspire global consumers to make fundamental changes to their lifestyles with its eco-friendly products.

KOKOLU's flagship product, designed by CEO and Founder Luanne Guo, is a casual vegan leather shoe made entirely of bamboo, sugarcane, corn, beach tree, and new biodegradable material that makes up the outsole (patent: greenksole®). With the biodegradable outsole and unique vegan upper leather component, the entire shoe is designed to return to nature after about three years - making it the world’s most eco-friendly sneaker.

The biodegradable sneaker is a major improvement on the original design which was made from recycled plastic bottles. In the past year, KOKOLU rigorously tested and researched new materials to make the shoe wholly biodegradable, setting a higher standard for sustainable brands and strengthening Luanne’s vision to curb the problems of fast fashion.

The global fashion industry is the second largest consumer of water on the planet. This is a concern that Luanne saw firsthand, working in the industry for over a decade, and an issue she is actively trying to solve.

“Because of poor marketing and sales strategies, fashion brands often place way more orders than expected, which leads to overproduction,” Luanne said. “But the most striking scene is the wastewater. We know the water usage in the fashion industry has long been counted as a top pollution problem. Only when you see it with your own eyes, can you truly understand how serious the problem is.”

By starting from KOKOLU, Luanne is not only making fashion more eco-friendly but also championing a sustainable lifestyle for consumers everywhere.

“The sustainability of a shoe doesn’t have to sacrifice function or comfort. So I wondered if I could design a style that could really solve career women’s real problems,” Luanne said. “I wanted it to be really comfortable, and that was how the K1.0 version silhouette was born — a casual design but a velvet-like fabric formal enough for business meetings, trips, or office time.”

Luanne said that she visited over 50 factories before pairing up with an innovative factory known for its eco-friendly materials, to produce the sustainable shoe and make her vision a reality.

Lucas Tan, General Manager and Co-Founder of KOKOLU with over 25 years of experience in the shoe industry, points out there currently aren’t enough incentives for other brands to make all of their products sustainable like what KOKOLU does.

“It takes lots of time, money, and human resources to research and develop sustainable materials,” said Lucas, “For small and medium suppliers, this cost is really difficult for them to cover.”

Having completed a $1 million angel round investment by UpHonest Capital, by partnering with innovation-focused factories, KOKOLU is positioned to grow its sustainable product lineup — all while offsetting its carbon footprint.

“We have taken too much from our planet, and the planet is responding,” said Gigi Ji, Head Of Brand, “We are determined to develop and upgrade our eco-friendly production. It’s never too late to care.”

“Our vision is a responsible and sustainable future for all mankind, and to achieve that, we aim to set up a platform for consumers all around the world to build a lifestyle that is responsible and sustainable.”

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