Hydrated World: Fashion and activism collide

UW mechanical engineering graduates Aleks Poldma and Spencer Kelly believe in creating shared value. Their startup, Hydrated World, aims to provide one person with access to clean drinking water for every five pieces of clothing sold. Hydrated World teamed up with The Safe Water Project in order to accomplish this goal.

Hydrated World funds clean water projects in Africa, specifically in South Sudan. Using locally sourced materials, Hydrated World funds business to build bio-filters to provide clean water. The Safe Water Project also aims to provide knowledge of how to build and maintain the use of the bio-filters to create sustainable businesses. The clothing being sold to fund the filters are made locally in Canada, which increases the costs of production. “The quality of the clothes is really important to us, as well as their outlook on social issues,” Poldma said.

Hydrated World was started during an enterprise co-op term, where Poldma and Kelly could start their own business through the Waterloo co-op program with support from the university and other business contacts.

Through the program, they won the Norman Esch Entrepreneurship Award as well as the Nicol Entrepreneurial Award, which provided them with initial capital to set up their business. Since their e-co-op term, they have since brought in BET 300 (Foundations of Venture Creation) student Tawny Tram to help prepare for their upcoming crowdfunding campaign.

Currently, Hydrated World sells T-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, and long sleeve shirts for both men and women. During the second week of September, Poldma and Kelly will be launching a 30-day Kickstarter campaign to promote Hydrated World’s brand and raise capital to grow the company. Funds will introduce new products and market the brand. In addition to new designs for their current products, they will be launching women’s bamboo shirts, new melange men’s long sleeves, baseball hats, and tank tops.

Hydrated World products can be purchased at www.hyratedworld.com. Check them out on Twitter and Instagram at @HydratedWorld.


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