Kotami is a Princeton based clothing brand that uses a combination of thrift and cultural inspirations to bridge the gap between sustainability and style. Kotami was founded in 2017 by MC Otani and Sofie Kim.
Maria clara otani
Born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, Maria Clara’s first fashion memory is watching Mychael Knight create his Pam Grier hotpant on Project Runway. She still thinks about it sometimes. During the day, she spends most of her time in the lab where she pretends to be an electrical engineer.
Sofie is from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is 21 years old. She got her start sewing clothes for her dolls and teddy bears, progressed on to Halloween costumes and bedroom decor, and has now turned to Kotami.
The fashion industry is one of the largest and most wasteful in the world. Each year, about 14 million tons of unwanted pieces — often made out of non-biodegradable and toxic materials and dyes — are thrown into landfills, where they will contaminate the soil and nearby water sources.
While donating to thrift stores such as Goodwill, Oxfam, and the Salvation Army can seem like a viable solution, every year they dump 84% of unsold goods into countries in Asia, Africa and South America. These pieces are then sold to local retailers who resell them for a profit, driving local tailors and clothing producers completely out of business.
Kotami could not exist without the help and support of the Keller Center, MVP, and our friends and family.
Our mission is to close the loop and bring unwanted clothes and materials back into circulation.
We do this by upcycling old pieces and re-using unwanted fabric to create original designs.