KNO Clothing gives apparel to the homeless
Penn students played a major role in its 2010 launch
February 23, 2012, 7:53 pm·
Several Penn students have helped launch an unconventional clothing company. KNO Clothing is online retailer and social impact business with the mission to end homelessness in the United States.
When a customer buys something from KNO, the company donates a brand new article of clothing to a homeless person in need.
Wharton senior Jason Lin interned at KNO last spring and said social responsibility was at the heart of his decision to work for the company. As one of KNO’s first interns, his experience allowed him to “merge his interests in fashion and … homelessness into one.”
KNO donates 50 percent of its profits to the cause. It contacts local non-profits to ask what items the homeless can benefit from most — and more often than not, the answer is a new pair of socks.
Other Penn students have modeled for KNO.
Several Penn models played a role in KNO’s launch in 2010. “Our photo shoot started the website,” said College sophomore Tanisha Hewett Hospedale.
“I was doing something for a company that actually has a purpose,” said College freshman Jessica King about her experience with KNO.
College sophomore and KNO model Robert Franco wrote in an email, “Stephen and Anthony, the co-founders of KNO, really believe in the message of the company.”
He added, “[They] have inspired me to take a more active role in helping to end homelessness in the United States.”
KNO founders launched the company when they noticed homelessness in Harrisburg and Philadelphia, where they lived, and realized that not enough was being done to counter the problem.
“People see problems across the ocean,” co-founder Anthony Thomas said, “but people aren’t paying attention to what is happening across the street.”
In addition, KNO partners with the Bethesda Mission in Harrisburg and the 100,000 Homes Campaign, which aims to house 100,000 homeless Americans by 2013.
So far, KNO’s partners have helped over 11,000 people find homes. Since its launch in 2010, it has donated over 500 articles of clothing to people in need.