An Ethical Fashion Education Series
By: Becky VandenBout | Founder of Joon + Co.
Kowtow is a relatively young brand from New Zealand that has taken the ethical and sustainable fashion worlds by storm. Slow fashion advocate, Gosla Piatek, founded eco-apparel brand, Kowtow, back in 2007. The label was designed and manufactured with women’s comfort in mind and minimalist, effortless style at the forefront. Art, architecture, craftsmanship, and travel landscapes all inspired Gosla’s designs.
Setting Kowtow’s modern design aside, one of the best parts of what they create is that every single item is made sustainably from ethically sourced materials. We’ve become experts in vetting new companies that ask to be sold at Joon + Co., and trust us when we say we have no reservations in saying Kowtow is the most ethical brand we sell, and one of the most certified, thorough, and transparent companies we’ve come across worldwide.
Every season when we receive our beautiful, made to order products from Kowtow,exactly on time, if not early, and correctly counted, labeled, and packaged in eco-friendly, biodegradable packaging. Not only do they design amazing products, do it from seed to garment ethically, they run one of the top slow fashion brands in the world like clockwork! Needless to say, we’re continuously impressed from both a creative and productive standpoint.
SEED TO GARMENT ETHICS
A well designed, aesthetically pleasing fashion line is no longer a rare find. A company and founder with that type of high end, high quality design, that do things as ethically and sustainably as possible?That is like finding a needle in a haystack. Their certifications are so impressive that we really have no other brand to compare them to. Not only do they think hard about how they make their garments, they consider how their textiles and materials are made, down to buttons, thread, dyes, and every single person along their supply chain. From farmers and water usage to seamstresses and packaging materials.
“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.
You can read more about their certifications on theKowtow website’s Ethics page
It’s tough to find fabrics that are soft and organic that don’t look like burlap potato sacks when you put them on. Kowtow’s fabrics balance modern design and structure with the most luxe, organic fibers in the world, producing garments that feel light as air, but hold their shape appropriately. The all-natural, GMO-free organic fabrics are soft, sleek, and eye-catching. All of the fabrics are designed in-house including color, wovens, and prints with their custom fabrics designed and developed for production a year in advance.
From their 100% GOTS Certified organic cotton to Merino that is ZQ Merino Certified, you can read all about the various fabrics on their website’sKowtow Fabrics page, and watch a video deep dive intoKowtow’s organic cotton production.
Certified Fair Trade by the Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO), is just the tip of the mountain when it comes to the ethical treatment of people within their organization and supply chain. Even their break room coffee is certified fair trade. Worker and family benefits like community involvement projects, training, educational resources, a guaranteed minimum wage, overtime, social security, pension, paid time off, medical insurance, labor unions, transportation to and from work, etc. are all wrapped up in this one-of-a-kind, change-making company.