Ethical & Sustainable
Ethical and sustainable values are at the core of Kowtow. All Kowtow garments are certified by non-profit internationally recognised organisations.
“To me, sustainability is being mindful. First and foremost, it is about making and growing something in an ethical and sustainable manner, or recycling and reusing if not. I also want to make sure that everyone in the production chain is being rewarded fairly for what they do, without being exploited.” — Gosia Piatek, Founder & Creative Director.
All our cotton is certified by Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO). Fairtrade empowers farmers to negotiate with buyers to secure better prices for their cotton. Every season, certified farmer groups receive a premium to be spent on community projects such as medical costs, irrigation schemes to conserve rainwater, books and clothes for school children, farmer education, training and upgrades.
Our cotton is organically farmed and free from genetically modified seeds to benefit the soil, cotton and farmers. Crops are rain-fed and hand-picked. Organic farming is achieved through companion planting, crop rotations and on-site green waste composting to eliminate the use of chemicals harmful to farmers and their families. Cotton is a sustainable, recyclable and biodegradable fiber.
We only use sustainably sourced trims. Our buttons are made in Italy from recycled hemp. Our denim tacks and sliders are nickel-free and made in a SA8000 certified factory in Germany. They are tested by OEKO-TEX for harmful substances and come under the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) and ISO 14000 environmental management standard.
GOTS APPROVED PRINTING, DYEING & WASHING
Our prints and fabrics use Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) approved inks and dyes, which are free from chlorine bleach, toxic heavy metals, formaldehyde and aromatic solvents. We only use GOTS approved washes for our garments from lightweight jersey to denim. GOTS ensure sustainable use and treatment of water used in these processes.
All of our garments are made at SA8000®-certified organisations in India. The SA8000 Standard encourages clothing manufactures to develop, maintain, and apply socially acceptable practices in the workplace. SA8000 organisations are audited by certification bodies accredited by Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS). SA8000 helps ensure that the workers at our production facilities receive the following benefits: guaranteed minimum wage, social security fund, pension fund, paid holiday leave, sick pay, medical insurance, subsidised lunches, overtime pay, workplace unions and free transport to their workplace.
All of our paper from tags to packaging is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approved and recyclable.
We work with FLO certified manufacturers in India, from Kolkata to Mumbai. Over this time, we have built close relationships with them and visit twice a year.