2022 was a busy year for Kowtow, a key highlight being the launch of our very first Sustainability Strategy. This strategy is the pillar and backbone of Kowtow, driving all business and design decisions. It has been amazing to get our thoughts down on paper in an ordered way, with clear deadlines, and all aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
With the recent extreme weather events hitting our local shores, the global climate crisis really feels as though we are at a pivotal point. The need to speed up and scale our solutions could not be more urgent. As designers we take full responsibility for how our clothing is made, who makes it, and its entire life-cycle. But we can’t do it alone. We need the fashion industry to do the same, we need governments to invest in infrastructure, and we need customers to take responsibility for what they purchase, how they care for their clothes and what they do with their clothes once no longer wanted.
With the global fashion industry having significant impact on both people and the natural world, we believe transparency is key to the solution and have mapped our supply chain partners and the material management of our clothing in this report.
From our first range of t-shirts, Kowtow has only used 100% certified Fairtrade organic cotton but over the years we added other materials into our collection, such as ZQ merino wool, regenerated nylon and Lenzig tencel, which complicated our supply chain. From 2021 we returned to only using Fairtrade organic cotton for all styles so we could be clear and confident in our transparency. We are singular natural fibre experts and believe this focus is our strength, still allowing us to provide a full offering.
We have always used fashion as a vehicle for change and as industry leaders recognise that shared knowledge and collective action is the key to creating a better future for all. Thank you, without your support we wouldn’t be here, and we are so grateful for this challenging and inspiring job which allows us to work on creating clothing solutions that are better for people and the planet. We hope this report provides readers with a full sense of what Kowtow is about, the impacts we have, and our plans for the future.
Gosia Piatek — Founder
Emma Wallace — Managing Director