|Founder||Liyin Kok, Rafael Soto|
|Press Contact||Liyin Kok|
Proto101 strives to provide better alternatives to disposable, "fast" fashion by sourcing sustainable fabrics, making durable garments in timeless silhouettes, supporting an ethical supply chain, and amplifying minority voices. With five decades of industry experience, Proto101 has made it simple for people to look good, feel good, and do good.
Using American-grown Supima cotton and TENCEL™ lyocell, a highly sustainable fiber, Proto101 ensures comfort with durability. TENCEL lyocell is sustainably produced from renewable wood materials without use of pesticides or insecticide meaning you can go back-to-basics without sacrificing quality.
Proto101 also makes it easy for everyone to protect their environment directly by planting a tree with each garment purchased. By planting one tree, Proto101 is able to sequester up to 48lbs of carbon dioxide greenhouse gasses per year which directly impacts climate change and benefits the environment.
Proto101 creates sustainable basics designed to last using eco-friendly materials and ethical manufacturing practices. Like all good stories, the idea for Proto101 started over dinner conversation about work, fashion, and friends. Rafael Soto and Liyin Kok were discussing the various t-shirts they had in their closet, but not the perfect one. The perfect tee that felt like luxe cotton, had key performance features, and made sustainably and ethically.
With decades of experience launching brands for e-commerce retailers for two decades, Kok and Soto believed in a better way to make fashion for the planet and people. The fashion industry is responsible for 85% of greenhouse gas emissions which cause global warming (wildfires, rising sea levels, melting ice caps). With their expertise and passion, they launched Proto101.
Proto101 is a better basic, made to be soft on you and the planet. The clothing is timeless, made with high-quality materials that will last, so you buy less over time. To reduce the environmental impact from yarn to you, the company sources sustainable materials that are environmentally friendly and socially benefit the local communities.
Liyin Kok is the Co-Founder of Proto101 and leader in retail business strategy and product development. Proto101 is a sustainable clothing brand known for high-quality wardrobe essentials and sustainable fabrics that are soft, stylish, and comfortable. After spending almost two decades launching and growing successful businesses and products for multibillion dollar e-commerce brands, Liyin knows what it takes to launch a start-up from the ground-up, develop and source high-quality products with an ethical supply-chain, and fuel long-term growth.
Liyin previously led Brand and Product Development for Amazon Private Brands Fashion where she had organizational responsibility for Product Strategy, Global Supply-Chain, and Brand Management in a rapid growth, new start-up business. She developed the Brand and Product Strategy that launched multimillion dollar brands and products, drove strategic growth through product expansion and extended sizing, built a global supply-chain, and successfully launched apparel and accessories.
Before joining Amazon, she served as Vice President of Product and Brand management for Fashion Private Brands at Macy’s where she owned end-to-end product strategy and global sourcing, and delivered sales and margin growth.
Liyin holds a BA in Economics from Cornell University.
Rafael has 25 years experience in the apparel retail industry as a design and creative leader who has successfully launched and over-hauled numerous brands spanning high-end suiting to casualwear. He has designed for iconic brands like Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers, and John Varvatos. Most recently, he launched and designed Amazon’s top performing, customer-loved brands Amazon Essentials and Goodthreads. Rafael grew up in Wisconsin to Puerto Rican parents. After the suicide of his nephew 2 years ago, Rafael saw this as a catalyst in his life to seize the day, choose his own path and to start his own company with Liyin and Ashleigh. He is married to his partner Mark.