Hiroko Kurihara is a RISD-trained, Oakland-based textile designer with a background in community economic development.
She now creates high-quality, lightweight woolen blankets, throws, and pillows -- and uses her company to fight homelessness.
Kurihara's website contains very little info about her craft, and dwells mostly on her politics. So we'll just take a moment to say that her designs are also worth talking about. The very definition of "modern organic," they set off graphic pattern with warm, earthy texture and bold color.
Her company, Hiroko Kurihara Designs, was founded to produce only "products that are well made and long lasting and created in socially and environmentally responsible ways." As if to say, "our money is indeed where our mouth is," the website explains the company's Blanket Shares Project, in which they give away a recycled polar fleece blanket or scarf to a homeless person every time you make a purchase.
Kurihara's website, with its tiny photos, does not do her designs justice, so you may want to visit her wares in person at one of the local shops or museums that carries them.