Alpine beginnings ....
Kula Cloth ™ was born during a trip to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in Washington State. Anastasia Allison was enjoying a spectacular sunset over Robin Lakes, when she walked around a larch tree to discover... a giant pile of toilet paper.
Upon returning home, she started researching Leave No Trace options for toilet paper in the wilderness. She discovered the concept of a 'p-cloth' and decided to give it a try (even though she had to admit - it sounded a little weird at first). She didn't like the idea of a bandana, so she bought a small piece of microfiber. This piece of fabric was a game changer for her - as a women's backpacking instructor for nearly 10 years, she started encouraging all of her students to use a p-cloth in the wilderness.
A dream is born.
As a joke, Anastasia started taking photos of her microfiber p-cloth in various spectacular wilderness settings. On the continental divide during a through-hike of the Wind River High Route, she thought, "I wish that looked cooler." Suddenly, she had the idea to design an intentional p-cloth for women - something that she could feel proud to wear on her pack. She wanted it to feel like an actual piece of gear, not just an afterthought 'rag' or a scrap of cloth.
After nearly 3 years of obsessively researching (with ZERO experience in the textile industry and no clue how to use a sewing machine) and after hundreds of hours of field testing with over 30 adventurous women, she finalized the design and the Kula Cloth™ was born.
The mission of Kula Cloth™ is to:
- Promote Leave No Trace practices by normalizing and encouraging the use of a p-cloth
- promote and support the dreams and visions of adventurous women on a global level
- give back to the community by supporting public lands and promoting stewardship
- dramatically reduce human impact on the environment by removing as much toilet paper as possible from fragile wilderness areas
Kula means more than just a piece of gear.
The Kula Cloth™ gets its name from Kula Khangri - the tallest mountain in Bhutan. Anastasia completed a trek in Bhutan in 2011, and it was a life-changing experience for her. Including the name of a peak symbolizes the process of accomplishing anything in life - mountains are climbed one step at a time. Kula also means 'community' in Sanskrit. It is our hope that the Kula Cloth™ will become representative of a positive, inclusive and supportive community of adventurous women who take stewardship and wilderness preservation seriously.
About the founder.
Anastasia Allison, CAO (Chief Adventure Officer) of Kula Cloth™, is a former park ranger and police officer who left her job after a near fatal car accident to pursue her dream of living an adventure-inspired life. She is a Wilderness First Responder and has been a backpacking instructor with Washington Outdoor Women for nearly 10 years. She is the Seattle Trail Scout and Gear Tester for Backpacker Magazine, she hosts the Inspired Adventurepreneur Podcast on iTunes, and she is the violinist for The Musical Mountaineers. Anastasia also has a private coaching practice for aspiring adventurepreneurs and runs a group coaching program called 'Stuck to Summit'.
Anastasia and her husband Aaron and their two cats, Niko and Cinder, live in the Pacific Northwest. Anastasia and Aaron have climbed all 5 Washington volcanoes together and they spend most of their free time in the backcountry. Aaron plays the ukulele, and they currently are working to complete a personal goal of performing one song together in every State Park in Washington.