“We are working very hard everyday to become more than a knitwear line,” says Tomomi.
It’s one thing when huge fashion corporations take a portion of their profits and donate them to charity. It’s a whole other ballgame when a budding boutique label steps onto the scene and earmarks charitable giving as part of its philosophy.
But that’s what Tomomi Egawa has done. As founder and designer of her namesake New York-based Japanese knitwear line, Tomomi launched her brand in the Big Apple, then re-launched it in early 2017 — without the mark-ups — and with a conscious goal in mind to donate 10 per cent of profits to The Humane Society International and another 10 per cent to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
She went on to launch The Loop Project® to give back to communities and spread environmental protection awareness. Believing that wool production relies on various communities’ support — from animals to factory workers, and their lands — Tomomi had a simple belief that lending support had a domino effect in taking care of and helping others succeed. “Just as our knitwear is created through a series of connected loops, our communities require cooperative circles or loops to succeed.”
As part of the project, the brand promises to “make less and take less through transparent sales”. The brand also does away with excessive packaging which contribute to unnecessary clutter and negatively impacts the environment.
Not content with her efforts, Tomomi recently launched a new project called GIVE, a holiday donation drive for ill children. An extension of The Loop Project®, the aim is to encourage people to donate knitted goods and bring warmth and happiness to children in need this holiday season.
“We are working very hard everyday to become more than a knitwear line, and there is so much that we [can] do,” says Tomomi. Aligned with her brand’s minimalist aesthetic, the goal is simple. And even though Tomomi is one person, and one brand, the ripple effect of her work has the potential to be life-changing to communities near and dear to her.
Tomomi Egawa sells high quality, unisex cashmere knitwear using baby alpaca and merino wool
Images courtesy of Tomomi Egawa; Ellie Tasatsuo