Gosia Piątek founded Kowtow in 2006 with a vision where a necessary product, such as clothing, originated from and how it could return back into the earth, without causing harm to people or the environment. Here she tells us the journey before she started her mission and what her vision for the future of Kowtow is.
At Kowtow we’ve been working for 17 years to completely eliminate all plastic derived materials in our clothing. A long and winding journey that has challenged industry conventions and led to finding natural alternatives so that now, we can claim completely plastic-free Fairtrade organic cotton clothing.
The journey to using a mono-fibre was the result of years of experimentation and learning, to find the best circular potential. This piece explains why Fairtrade organic cotton forms the foundation of every garment in every collection we create.
With the global fashion industry having a significant impact on both people and the natural world, we believe transparency is key to the solution. Our first Impact Report shares with you a deeper look at how we work and our circular clothing solution.
We proudly partner with Koha Apparel, a registered charity that seeks to uplift our most marginalised, providing clean, quality clothing to those in need at no cost. Based in Tāmaki Makaurau, we spoke with founder Charli Cox about this work and how the organisation is addressing textile waste through their community clothing exchange.
Since our inception in 2006, Kowtow’s purpose has been to put people and planet first. We see positive impact amplified when we are part of something bigger than ourselves. We work with a Fairtrade certified supply chain and like-minded partners to create discernible change within the fashion industry.
Founded in 2006, Kowtow is committed to creating positive change. We believe in preserving the planet and protecting people in everything we do. Our decision making is centred around circular design, ethical manufacturing and sustainable fibres. This strategy outlines our roadmap to creating incremental change across each of these founding values. Our strategy is structured across the pillars of ‘People’, ‘Planet’ and ‘Prosperity’.
Nestled in the heart of Tāmaki Makaurau is Kelmarna - a thriving urban community farm and garden dedicated to building a healthy community and environment, and promoting regenerative agricultural practices. Kowtow spoke to Kelmarna’s Urban Farmer, Maddy Cull, to find out what makes this place so special and to learn more of the positive impact urban farms have on local communities and the planet.
Nestled in the heart of Tāmaki Makarau, Kelmarna is an urban farm whose purpose is to rebuild connections between people, food production and the land. General Manager, Sarah McFadden, embodies the spirit of Kelmarna, reflecting the passion and dedication of its team and volunteers who together work to bring more sustainable solutions into the food system to create one that is kinder to the planet, fair to farmers, and better for health.
At Kowtow, we are inspired by Kaicycle’s small changes that make a big impact. Whether it’s regenerative and organic farming, circularity or composting, we have a shared purpose to do better for the planet. Through our long standing relationship with Kaicycle - and years of using their composting service - we have worked together to divert our waste from landfill to compost.
The Garden Book Tee is a celebration of Avant Gardeners - the local changemakers behind our community gardens and urban farms. Nestled within our cities, these spaces become a source of education and nourishment, green patches for community amongst the urban landscape.
Inspired by nature in full bloom, this collection celebrates the Avant Gardeners. We believe that collectively, small actions have a big impact. Positive change can begin at home, and in our gardens. By nurturing our natural environment we can bring life to the spaces we inhabit, and encourage nature to thrive - this becomes an act of protest in a world that needs protecting.
The colours are the beginning of a collection. Every colour is made from scratch - determined by Kowtow’s design team who blend and alter every colour to create the perfect shade. Kowtow’s Creative Director Marilou draws inspiration from everyday objects. The colours of a tea towel or the cover of a book can catch her eye and make their way into the collection.
This collection’s creative direction takes inspiration from the women of Bauhaus. The German art school that produced some of its generations finest artists and specialised in both fine arts and crafts. Bringing this time-honoured practice into the modern day, our collection - Material Matters - is selected and designed by hand and guided by touch: the weight, weave, and texture of cotton into myriad fabrics.
In The Studio Series, our Creative Director Marilou shares with us her process in creating a collection entirely from cotton, plus the creative direction of every choice: from conception to design.“As designers we are responsible for what we put out into the world” which is why Material Matters leaves as light a footprint as possible.
We are excited to partner with Australian artist Lauren Brincat, for her Vivid LIVE performance at Sydney Opera House. Sharing a love of colour, textile and shape, Kowtow dressed the artist and her collaborators in a Bauhaus inspired uniform. Tutti Presto fff’ responds to the site of the Opera House, translating the visual and historical gestures of the building into cloth.