What happens when the people who run "the front page of the Internet" build their own Kickstarter-like platform for crowdfunding their own ideas? That's exactly the concept behind Redditmade, a new way of bringing Reddit-inspired merchandise (or anything else at all) into existence.
Comparable crowdfunding sites like Tilt, GoFundMe, Indiegogo or the ubiquitous Kickstarter are aimed at raising money up front for anyone looking to engage in a creative or social good project. Redditmade does the same, but its spin on the situation is that it heavily plugs back into the Reddit community at the same time.
Redditmade is generally a means of giving moderators of subreddits "an easy way to create official subreddit merch for their communities," but it's by no means limited to that. People are welcome to create campaigns for any type of product they want to make, just like Kickstarter, and promote them until they meet their fundraising goals. Already people are making campaigns for subreddit merch and general products alike. Note the stickers for the camping subreddit alongside the headphones, which aren't for a specific subreddit at all.
This doesn't appear to specifically be a moneymaking venture for the social site. The only reference to any fees or income going directly to Reddit appear in the company's FAQ -- if you should want help designing something to go on a shirt or sticker, they'll help you do so for a charge. Subreddit-specific merchandise is touted on the corresponding subreddit, but for those wanting to announce their other projects raising funds through the service can do so through the Redditmade subreddit, naturally. There are already a few.
The launch of Redditmade comes on the heels of Reddit's $50 million series B fundraise at a $500 million valuation and the news that Reddit aims to introduce its own cryptocurrency, comparable to Bitcoin. The site is already a monster, boasting 5 billion pageviews a month attributed to 115 million unique visitors. With the launch of a proprietary crowdfunding platform largely dedicated to bringing cool swag to Reddit users, it's clear that the site wants to be more than just an information-sharing community.
There's a social good element at work here as well -- project creators can choose to send the profits from their campaigns to Reddit's charity fund, in which community members vote on charities to receive 10 percent of Reddit's advertising revenue.