MEET THE BRAND: MADE ON MARS
Made on Mars is the newest clothing company on the block. Inspired by science, this line encapsulates the curiosity and knowledge our minds are thirsty for. We asked the founder Maria Karpenko to tell us more about her brand.
What is the meaning behind your company name, Made On Mars?
The sky's the limit when it comes to human imagination. Our brains are wired for novelty. We climbed Mount Everest, landed on the Moon, and now we long to go to Mars. Moonshot projects have not only landed the first human on the Moon but have also resulted in many scientific and technological advancements that have benefited life on Earth. To me, 21st century alchemists are the people who dream of going to Mars. Each sweatshirt celebrates a scientific or technological breakthrough. These breakthroughs will perhaps one day enable settlements on Mars. So, I thought it would be fitting to call the brand Made on Mars. On a less serious note, Made on Mars is just a fun name that also happens to spell out M-O-M.
Where did you come up with the idea to start your business?
During my years in Silicon Valley, I got exposed to a lot of nerdy sweatshirts and t-shirts and started to incorporate athleisure into my wardrobe. However, I found most prints too nerdy and the manufacturing low quality. So, I came up with a couple not-too nerdy STEM-themed designs, created a couple prototypes, and started wearing them. The key distinguishing feature is that the designs are embroidered for durability and won’t crack or wash off like printed designs. These sweatshirts quickly became the most attention-grabbing and conversation-starting items in my closet.
It was important to me to visit fabric mills, dye houses, pattern makers, sewing facilities, and personally meet with the people who would be crafting the sweatshirts. I worked to strike a balance between responsible fashion and affordable prices. Afterall, these sweatshirts were a creative way to support my mission to communicate scientific and technological advancements to the general public. The more people could buy my sweatshirts, the greater the impact of my brand would be. That’s how the Made on Mars sweatshirt collection was born.
Who is it for?
Made on Mars sweatshirts are for seekers, thinkers, and creators who belief smart and stylish can and should be combined. The sweatshirt line is designed with the 21st century alchemists in mind - the dreamers and doers who can envision and build a future of equality, abundance, and settlements on Mars. Smart, sustainable, and style is in our DNA! You’ll feel effortlessly chic and comfy in our sweatshirts.
What is your background?
I founded Voxel Studios, a digital content production company on a mission to inform, engage, and delight curious minds with creative and original storytelling. I have a background in biomedical sciences and over a decade of experience in digital health research, communications and marketing, medical software product design, and editorial direction for an international arts magazine. I’m passionate about increasing science and tech literacy and promoting critical thinking. I’ve been creative since a young age. Creative expression is a huge part of my identity and it keeps surfacing and manifesting itself in new forms like video production and most recently an apparel brand.
Why is it important for you to have your items ethically and sustainably manufactured?
I care about human and planetary health and they are deeply connected and interdependent. It’s important to give consumers the choice to buy ethical and sustainable clothing at a reasonable price. Made on Mars sweatshirts are ethically and sustainably made in Los Angeles. Crafted with the highest quality fibers and dyes, each sweatshirt is created with the idea that looking good shouldn’t negatively impact people or the environment. Perhaps it will take traveling to and colonizing Mars to solve the issues causing climate change on Earth. To reach Mars, we’ll have to come up with more efficient engines, renewable energy sources, water and air purification systems, sustainable food, etc. All the out-of-the-box thinking it will take to go to Mars, will likely benefit us on Earth.
Tell us more about how you came up with the designs and how you narrowed your selection?
A lot of Google image and Pinterest browsing for inspiration and sketching! I tried to cover each of the STEM fields. Each sweatshirt tells an element of the journey of humankind, highlighting our curiosity, exploration, creativity, and innovation:
The Apollo 11 sweatshirt celebrates space exploration.
The Chromo sweatshirt celebrates the Age of Genomics.
The Neuro sweatshirt celebrates scientific research focused on understanding the nearly 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion connections of a human brain.
The Golden Ratio sweatshirt celebrates human creative expression.
The Endocrine sweatshirt celebrates our quest to understand human physiology and to advance medicine.