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The Odd Logic of Kickstarter's Glut of Slim Wallets

The TGT slim wallet
The TGT slim walletCourtesy Jack Sutter/TGT

On a fall day in 2008, Jack Sutter and a friend were hanging out on a Brooklyn stoop when the conversation turned to their “broccoli wads”—the thick rubber bands they were using to hold their cash. “We were talking for way too long about how much we liked a simple wallet,” he recalls. The discussion got Sutter thinking: Why not fashion his own simple wallet, using a thick elastic material on one side, like a broccoli wad, and a supple piece of leather on the other. He learned how to sew, knocked out a prototype, and began selling his homemade creations to friends, acquaintances, and cousins. Convinced he “had something,” he took the project to Kickstarter in 2012 and raised more than $317,000.

Sutter’s TGT (which he pronounces “tight”) is but one of more than a dozen “slim” wallets to appear on the crowdfunding platform. There’s the EZ Wallet, the Helone, the Thinny, the Slimtec, the Simple Wallet, and its sequel, the Simple Wallet 2.0. Some promise RFID (radio-frequency identification) shielding for consumer protection, one is 3D printed, another has an antitheft scheme that communicates with your smartphone. Every last one of them promises to be “slim.”